Favouritism Alleged in Melsanthi Selection

Selection of Melsanthis to the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple and the Malikappuram Devi Temple has run into controversy with many candidates alleging lack of transparency and favouritism in the selection process.

This was after the personal interview of candidates who applied for the Melsanthi posts held at the Tranvancore Devaswom Board (TDB) headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram on September 29 and 30.

Talking to The Hindu, a group of priests, who are at present employed at various TDB temples, alleged that the selection committee had prepared the list of candidates for the Malikappuram Melsanthi post without even conducting the mandatory personal interview.

Even candidates who were facing criminal charges and against whom the Devaswom Vigilance had filed negative reports too had been allegedly shortlisted for the Sabarimala Melsanthi post, they alleged.

This was in gross violation of the guidelines prescribed for the selection process, they said.

A priest who had secured first rank in Tantra from the Tantra Vidya Peedhom at Aluva too failed to find a place in the Travancore Devaswom Board list, they alleged.

The priests said they were exploring the possibility of challenging the list in the Kerala High Court.