Vishwa Hindu Parishad elections mark end of Pravin Togadia's era

VS Kokje

The change at the helm is seen as the end of the dominance of Pravin Togadia, till now the global working president of the organisation.

Pravin Togadia on Saturday quit the Vishwa Hindu Parishad after his nominee Raghav Reddy was defeated in the election for the post of president, reported The Times of India. They point out that with the election of former governor VS Kokje as global president and advocate Alok Kumar as working president, the organisation has picked "legal luminaries" who will play a crucial role in the hearing of the Ram Temple issue in the Supreme Court. Togadia has held the position since December 2011, when he was nominated by his loyalist Reddy, who took over as president the same month.

Former Himachal Pradesh governor Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje has challenged the incumbent president Raghav Reddy, who is seen as a close aide of VHP worldwide working president Praveen Togadia.

Mr. Kokje had been the Governor of Himachal Pradesh from 2003 to 2008.

The former Himachal Pradesh governor is considered to be very close to both the VHP as well as the RSS. Togadia had said. "They (the BJP) have neither built the Ram temple nor ushered in development", he had added, flagging joblessness and rural distress under Modi. I was in it for 32 years.


He announced a programme to go on an indefinite fast in Ahmedabad from April 17 to highlight the problems faced by farmers, workers and women.

A vocal critic of the Narendra Modi government, Togadia, who is known for inflammatory speeches on issues such as cow slaughter and interfaith marriages, has already dubbed his ouster as evidence of the VHP caving into pressure from the government.

All this did not sit well with the RSS.

"The way he (Togadia) was targeting the Prime Minister had become unbearable".

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