FOR THE first time in its 54-year history, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is going to witness secret ballot voting to elect its next international president. The voting, which will be videographed, will be conducted during the VHP executive board and trustees’ committee meeting on April 14 in Gurgaon. However, the election has courted controversy with president Raghava Reddy and international working president Pravin Togadia alleging discrepancy.
The voting will be a result of two contenders being in the race for the post — international vice-president V Kokje and incumbent Raghava Reddy. Reddy is eyeing a third consecutive term after completing the second in December. He was elected with consensus of all trustee members for his earlier terms in 2011 and 2014.
The election for the new international president was to take place on December 29 last year during the last meeting of VHP executive board and trustee committee, when a section pitched Kokje’s name for the post. The election has now been scheduled for April 14.
There are around 260 members in the executive board and trustee committee and nearly 200 of them are likely to take part in the voting process on Saturday, said VHP spokesperson and joint general secretary Surendra Kumar Jain. “Name of new elected president will be declared same day,” he said.
The international president, which is an elected position, nominates the international working president.
Togadia said that the list is not the same as it was when Reddy was elected. “They have added 37 names which is not as per the memorandum of the association of VHP and these 37 names are not in the board of trustees,” Togadia said. Reddy has also raised objection over the voter list.