DW BUREAU / Gurgaon
Former Himachal Pradesh governor V S Kokje was on Saturday elected the VHP’s international president for which voting was held for the first time in over five decades. 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.
After the election, Togadia said they would continue to be the voice of Hindus.
He stressed the need to work together for building a Ram Temple at Ayodhya, getting a law enacted to ban cow slaughter and abrogating Article 370 and 35A.
Article 370 gives autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir and Article 35A empowers its legislature to define the state’s “permanent residents”, their special rights and privileges.