Nation Politics 19 May 2021 Who is Veena George, ...

Who is Veena George, Kerala's new Health minister set to replace KK Shailaja

Published May 19, 2021, 7:08 pm IST
Updated May 20, 2021, 12:56 pm IST
Veena George. (Facebook/@veenageorgeofficial)
 Veena George. (Facebook/@veenageorgeofficial)

Pathanamthitta: For the first time in its history, a woman journalist-turned politician, Veena George, will become a minister in Kerala and latest reports indicate that George is set to replace none other than Kerala's much-acclaimed ex-Health Minister KK Shailaja.

This is the second time George is elected to Assembly, that too from the same Aranmula seat she was elected for the first time in 2016. In 2019 however, she failed to make a mark in the election to the lower house of Parliament. George won with a margin of 19,003 votes this time, whereas in 2016 polls, she had wrested the constituency from the Congress, defeating the nearest rival Sivadasan Nair by a margin of 7,646 votes.

In her journalism career of over one-and-a-half decades in television, George had excelled as a journalist and news anchor in various Malayalam news channels. She was the first woman executive editor to head a media organisation in Kerala and one of the five Indian journalists who was assigned to cover the 2012 US elections. She was also the presenter of the television programme Naam Munnottu in which CM Pinarayi Vijayan interacted with a select audience.

A rank holder of MSc (Physics) and BEd, George’s political career began quite unexpectedly as she switched from journalism even though she was an activist of Students Federation of India (SFI), the student wing of the CPI(M) while studying.

George, a mother of two, is a member of the CPI(M) Pathanamthitta area committee. Her husband Dr George Joseph, a higher secondary school teacher, has served as secretary of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.

Besides George, two other women will also become ministers in the new government. While CPI(M) has nominated Prof R Bindu, wife of CPI (M) acting secretary A Vijayaraghavan, CPI has selected its senior leader and Chadayamangalam MLA J Chinchu Rani to represent the party in the cabinet.



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