Who is Veena George? Kerala is all set to get its first woman journalist-turned-politician on the ruling cabinet. Veena George is one of three female ministers - the other two being Dr R Bindu and Chinchu Rani - to feature on the Left Democratic Front (LDF)'s government in the state, led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Reports on Wednesday said George could potentially assume role as the next Health Minister of Kerala, replacing KK Shailaja who will take on as party whip.
As news broke May 18 of Shailaja's replacement, which LDF says is pursuant to its policy of not repeating ministers, media-watchers and citizens raised an outcry online, baffled, for the "rockstar" minister's handling of the Nipah and COVID-19 outbreaks in Kerala have been globally recognised. Shailaja called it a "policy decision", denying any "emotional" disappointment.
Who Is Veena George? A Look At The Former Malayalam Journalist's Career
Veena George, one among the host of 20 new faces on Vijayan's cabinet, spent over a decade in the Malayam journalism industry prior to joining politics. She is known for successful stints as an anchor and journalist at media channels Kairali TV, Manorama News, and Indiavision.
In 2015, she became the Executive Editor at TV New, notably a first for any woman in the Malayali journalism industry. More on that here.
A year later, George joined politics, nominated in the 2016 Kerala Assembly Elections as a Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate for the Aranmula constituency. She defeated Congress leader KS Nair by a margin of over 7500 votes and was elected as MLA. In the 2021 Kerala assembly election, she defeated Nair once again, this time by a wider 19000-margin.
George is a popular figure in Kerala but LDF's decision to replace Shailaja with her is under the spotlight in view of the raging COVID-19 pandemic.