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Did CPI-M ask K K Shailaja to refuse Magsaysay award?

K K Shailaja has refused the Ramon Magsaysay Award in recognition of her work in COVID-19 and Nipah virus prevention. According to the former health minister of Kerala, the Ramon Magsaysay award is never presented to a politician but is always given to a person.

The CPM refuted claims that Shailaja’s party leadership pressured her to turn down the Magsaysay award as a result of her rising popularity. Shailaja defended her party as well.

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“We discussed this together as a party and decided not to accept this. The Kerala government’s intervention in the health sector was discussed. Also, they said they considered intervention to prevent covid and Nipah.” Shailaja said.

“With all the respect to the award I wrote saying that I cannot accept this award due to some political reasons and also because it is a collective work. As an individual I am not accepting this award,” she added.

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“The decision is because they never give a politician such an award. I am a communist party central member because of that we decided not to accept, ” Shailaja stated.

“As an individual and party core committee member, I thought not to accept this with all due respect to the award. When asked about comparing this to another historic blunder by CPI-M like when Jyoti Basu was not made pm, she said there was no need for a comparison like that. It’s not right,” she added.

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Speaking on the subject, left-wing figures asserted that Magsaysay was a fervent anti-Communist who oversaw the Communists’ defeat in the Philippines in the 1950s.

The prize is given in memory of the late Ramon Magsaysay, who is known for allegedly brutally suppressing Communists in the Philippines, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury earlier said.

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“Shailaja was chosen as an individual. But the fight against Covid-19 was not the achievement of any single person. Generally, political leaders are not considered for the Magsaysay award. Ramon Magsaysay was an anti-Communist,” Yechury said.

(With ANI inputs)

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