VS Kokje elected VHP's new global president

Pravin Togadia

I can say that the entire Hindu community is committed to temple building.

The controversial Pravin Togadia was replaced as the International President of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) after a 7 year term on Saturday, as for the first time in 52 years an election was held for the top VHP post.

Earlier, VHP working global president Pravin Togadia had claimed that due procedure was not being followed in the election.

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The election and removal of Togadia from the position of VHP global president reportedly took place due to RSS's discomfort with Togadia using the banner of the organisation to accuse Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government of betraying the Hindutva cause. Soon after quitting, Togadia announced an indefinite fast from Tuesday seeking the welfare of Hindus and to seek construction of Ram Janmbhoomi Temple at Ayodhya, nationwide ban on cow slaughter, enforcement of the common civil code and relocation of displaced Kashmiri Hindus. Kokje got 131 of 192 votes polled in the election despite Togadia throwing his weight behind Reddy. Togadia, who batted for Reddy, however, alleged irregularities in the exercise.

File image of newly elected VHP global president VS Kokje.

"Hindus all over can clearly see through the dirty political designs in cracking the grand VHP", said Mr Togadia, who has off-late been critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP leadership. A few months ago, he dramatically disappeared from his office at the VHP office in Ahmedabad despite "Z" category security after a team of the Rajasthan police came to serve him a warrant in an old case.

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