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Pravin Togadia quits VHP after VS Kokje elected as international president

Pravin Togadia, who held the position since 2011, alleged rigging in the VHP's internal election.

PTI Reported by: PTI Gurugram Updated on: April 15, 2018 7:18 IST
Firebrand VHP leader Praveen Togadia (File Photo)
Image Source : PTI

Firebrand VHP leader Praveen Togadia (File Photo)

Former Himachal Pradesh governor VS Kokje was on Saturday elected the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's international president for which voting was held for the first time in over five decades. Following the announcement of results, firebrand leader Pravin Togadia declared has quit the organisation after being associated with it for over three decades.

Togadia said he would go on an indefinite fast from Tuesday to push the Hindutva cause. 

The veteran leader, who served as the VHP international working president since December 2011, announced his decision in a press conference after his nominee to the post of international president of the VHP was defeated in voting, held for the first time in over five decades.

 "I am not in the VHP anymore. I was in it for 32 years. For the welfare of Hindus, I left my home and my lucrative medical practice. I will continue to work for the welfare of Hindus. Hindus first is the mission of my life and from Tuesday, I will go on an indefinite fast in Ahmedabad for fulfilling the longstanding demands of Hindus," he said. 

Togadia alleges poll rigging

Kokje got 131 votes and defeated incumbent Raghava Reddy who mustered 60 votes. 192 delegates of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad were eligible to vote in today's election in Gurgaon. Former working president Pravin Togadia, who batted for Redyy, however, alleged irregularities in the exercise. 

The election was necessitated after the organisation's members failed to reach a consensus on a new international president. Kokje proposed names for the new central executive team, which were approved the Board of Trustees, according to a VHP statement. 

Alok Kumar has been made the VHP working president and Ashok Rao Chowgule the working president (external). 

Milind Parande is the new secretary general and Vinayak Rao Deshpande organizational general secretary. 

Champat Rai will be the vice-president and Venkata Koteswara Rao the joint general secretary.

Togadia alleged that there was an attempt to rig the elections. It was "shocking and saddening" to see that the VHP has been made to bow before power "not for Hindu wellbeing but for individual whims and fancies of some powermongers", he said in a statement. 

"Hindus all over can clearly see through the dirty political designs in cracking the grand VHP," he said. 

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