‘Ravish Tantri’ gets notice for contesting polls

9:47 AM, Wednesday, May 25th, 2016
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Ravish TantriMangaluru : The administrator of the government-controlled Mahalingeshwara temple in Puttur has issued notice to Ravisha Tantri Kuntar, a BJP candidate who recently lost the Assembly election from Kasaragod in Kerala, seeking explanation as to why he cannot be removed from the post of ‘tantri’, a person who directs the conduct of rituals, of the temple for contesting the election.

The notice was been issued by Jagadish, administrative officer of the temple, on May 13 following a complaint by Jayaram Shetty, a Puttur taluk resident who questioned Mr. Kuntar’s continuance as tantri of the temple after contesting the election.

Mr. Kuntar, who secured 56,120 votes, lost to UDF’s A. Nellikkunnu by a margin of 8,607 votes.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Kumar, who oversees operations of temple, said Mr. Shetty filed the complaint with the temple administrator against Mr. Kuntar after seeing him perform rituals in the temple on May 12.

He sought Mr. Kuntar’s removal from the post of tantri as he was associated with a political party. Mr. Kumar said the complaint was placed before the administrative body of the temple before deciding to issuing the show-cause notice to Mr. Kuntar.

Mr. Kuntar, however, contended that a tantri, who performs some of the rituals of the temple in an honorary capacity, was “not an employee of the temple” and does not get any salary. He told  that he had been discharging the role of tantri, which came to him as a hereditary office, for the last 18 years.

“As a citizen, I have every right to contest elections,” he said.

Mr. Kuntar said he was surprised to receive the notice only after the declaration of the results. “No notice was served to me when I performed rituals related to annual fair of the Mahalingeshwara temple (held in April) when I had filed the nomination paper as the BJP candidate.”

Mr. Kuntar said the notice was “politically motivated”, and added that he would consult legal experts and file his reply within 10 days.


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