Mullappally Ramachandran made these remarks at a protest to speak against discrimination towards expat Malayalis.

Congress Kerala president mocks KK Shailaja as Covid Queen Nipah princess
news Controversy Friday, June 19, 2020 - 13:19

Taking a misogynistic line, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Mullappally Ramachandran took a dig at state Health Minister KK Shailaja using terms like ‘Nipah Rajakumari’ (Nipah princess) and ‘Covid Rani’ (Covid Queen).

He was speaking at the one-day fasting protest by Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala against the attitude of the central and state governments towards expatriates, in demanding that they test for COVID-19 before boarding flights to India.

Mullappally, who inaugurated the protest, said that Health Minister Shailaja “is trying to get the label of Covid Rani, had earlier been in a competition to get the name of Nipah Rajakumari.” He was referring to the time there was an outbreak of the Nipah virus in Kerala in 2018, during which several lives were lost. However, the next year there was an outbreak, the state had been able to contain the disease without losing any lives, and the Health Minister was praised for the way she dealt with the crisis.

Twitter users have put angry posts, condemning the words of Mullapally on a minister, who has been hailed worldwide for her quiet work to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Kerala. “If this is not misogyny then what is it,” asks a Twitter user who goes by the handle of Advaidism.

"A minister who studied to get a job, did social work with political excellence and is handling the health department after winning democratically, is being mocked at with names like Nipah Rajakumari and Covid Rani," he wrote.

 

 

This is not the first time KK Shailaja is at the receiving end of derogatory remarks by the opposition. Ramesh Chennithala had earlier said that she had 'media mania', when she conducted daily press meets on COVID-19 during early March. The minister, in an interview to a television channel, had said that it pained her to hear such words, but she had to concentrate on the job at hand of containing the pandemic.

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