Pravin Togadia quits as President after three decades

Pravin Togadia

In its first organisational election in 52 years, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has elected a new president - former Himachal Pradesh Governor Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje.

Togadia has lately been at loggerheads with senior BJP leaders and had claimed that there was threat to his life. For the welfare of Hindus, I left my home and my lucrative medical practice. Togadia, who batted for Reddy, however, alleged irregularities in the exercise. He added that though associated with the VHP "for the past 32 years", he was "no longer with the organisation".

"This blatant anti-Narendra Modi and anti-BJP stance is not the style of the sangh now". He was also exploring other pastimes, including making different varieties of saladhe claimed to have recipes for a 100 types, in his last days at VHP. But he called gau-rakshaks 'gundas (goons).

Commenting on government's step to withdrawn cases against stone pelters in Kashmir, Togadia said he was shocked.

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"It is very shocking and saddening to see such a grand VHP that we all built to this fantastic level being made to bend, not for Hindu well-being but for individual whims and fancies of some powermongers", said Togadia after congratulating the new team, according to The Indian Express.

Recently, Togadia after a miraculous escape in a road accident near Surat, voiced suspicion that it was an attempt to kill him.

Mr. Togadia has held that position since 2011, though he had been the driving force of the organisation since 2003.

Asked if the VHPs state unit would support Togadia's fast, Gujarat VHP chief Ranchod Bharwad evaded reply, saying he was in hospital and could not make any statement. Hailing from Gujarat Togadia is a surgeon who is known for his provocative and incendiary speeches.