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Shailaja rejects Magsaysay award after taking part in ‘talks’ with the party

KK Shailaja, former Kerala health minister, declined the Ramon Magsaysay award. KK Shailaja was nominated for the 64th Magsaysay Award for her performance as Kerala’s health minister, particularly during the state’s fight against the Nipah virus and the Covid-19 pandemic.

KK Shailaja, leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), stated that the decision not to accept the Magsaysay Award, considered the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize, was made after consultation with the party. ‘The award committee informed me that I am being considered. I am a political figurehead. “Normally, this award is never given to political leaders,’ KK Shailaja stated.

‘I am a central committee member of the CPI,’ the former Kerala health minister added (M). ‘I discussed it with my party’s leadership, and we all agreed not to accept it. It is a significant award, but it is given by an NGO, which typically does not support Communist principles.’

The Ramon Magsaysay Award, which was established in 1957, is Asia’s highest honour. It honours the memory and leadership example of the third Philippine President, after whom the award is named. Every year, the award is given to individuals and organisations in Asia for their selfless service to society in a variety of fields.

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