Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Tribes P. K. Jayalekshmi has denied allegations of nepotism in the appointment of tribal promoters for various welfare schemes implemented by the Scheduled Tribes Development Department.

In a statement here, the Minister said that the Department appointed persons with a serving mentality and ability to help the tribals. The appointments were done as per specified norms for one year as in the previous years. Media reports about the appointments were misleading.

The appointments made in Wayanad district this year were as follows: Kurichyar—99, Paniyar – 67, Kurumar – 106, Kattunaicker – 33, Oorali -9, Thatchanadan Mooper -2 and Adiayas- 27. Of the 130 promoters under the Tribal development office at Manathawadi, 57 persons were appointed by the previous government. In the Minister’s home panchayat of Thavinjal, 18 out 19 persons appointed during the LDF rule belonged to her community of Kurichyars. Hence, there was no basis to the allegation that members from her community were preferred. The selections were made on merit and it was painful that a communal colour was being given to it.