Differences of opinion, squabbles have given to rise to doubts about any one panel emerging victorious

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Amidst factional feud, election to the 11-member Sree Narayana Dharma Sanghom Trust (SNDST) board is scheduled to be held in Kochi on Wednesday.

The 52 sanyasis who are members of the trust have split into rival groups and had raised serious allegations during the run up to the elections.

The contest is mainly between the panels led by outgoing president Swami Swaroopananda and the former president Swami Prakasananda. Swami Sookshmananda, one of the prominent trust members, is not contesting the election, but the panel led Swami Swaroopananda enjoys his support.

Swami Prakasananda's panel claims to enjoy the support of SNDP Yogam leadership and general secretary Vellapally Natesan.

While the rival factions were exuding the confidence on securing a majority in the board, the serious differences of opinion and group squabbles have given to rise to doubts about any one panel registering a sweeping victory. Both factions were apprehensive about their members shifting loyalty.

The trust administration had been going through a series of internal disputes and litigations during the past five decades and the Supreme Court had appointed former Judge K.S. Paripoornan as arbitrator to prepare the voters list and conduct the elections.

Elections were being held according to a scheme settled by the High Court in 1959.

The general body will elect the board members and the board will elect president, general secretary and treasurer for five years. The quorum of the board is six and any vacancy arising as a result of resignation or death can be filled through nomination

During the beginning of the election process, the sanyasis led by Swami Sookshmananda had expressed their reservations about the preparation of the voters list and accused the Sangh Parivar of making a conscious effort to gain control of the Madhom, which had a secular nature.

Meanwhile, Prakasananda faction expressed faith in the proceedings of the arbitrator and requested him to conduct the election in a free and fair manner.