End of hardline Hindutva in VHP after Togadia’s ouster from cabinet?

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The expulsion of Praveen Togadia from the central board or cabinet of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) should not be interpreted as a sign that the organization is deviating from its hard-line position, Rashtriya Swayamsevask Sangh (RSS) officials said on Saturday. The VHP is an affiliate of Sangh.

A vocal critic of the government of Narendra Modi, Togadia, who is known for incendiary speeches on issues such as cow slaughter and interreligious marriages, has already called its overthrow as evidence of VHP speculation to government pressure. “Now, today, it is very shocking and sad to see that a great VHP, which we all built at this fantastic level, has become inclined to power, not for Hindu welfare but for individual whims and fantasies of power dealers,” he said.

However, Sangh’s senior officials differ. They point out that with the election of former governor VS Kokje as international president and defender Alok Kumar as acting president, the organization has chosen “legal luminaries” who will play a crucial role in the Ram Temple hearing in the Supreme Court.

“Now there is little role for VHP or Togadia in the movement of the Ram Temple, the issue is in the court and the government has made it clear that the problem will be resolved through legal intervention. It indicates a change in the ideology, “said an RSS observer, who does not wish to be named. Faced with speculation that Togadia was abandoned to save the government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from the 2019 polls, a senior Sangh official said: “While the Sangh allows discussion and debate, his harsh criticism did not earn him. No friend. ”

However, another official said it was too early to rule out Togadia, since 60 of the 192 eligible voters had voted for Raghava Reddy, who is close to him. Togadia was the acting president of Reddy, who was international president for three terms. “It is not a small number, which indicates that there are still many who decided to vote regardless of the general feeling, since it was clear that the appointment of Kokje had the approval of the directors,” he said.

Kokje is considered close to the general secretary of RSS, Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi, who maintained his position for the fourth term in March. Togadia, on the other hand, had a public confrontation with Modi and did not receive much support from Sangh Parivar.