Tamil Nadu

BJP’s Raja loses bid to head Scouts and Guides

Refuses to accept result, wants election countermanded

BJP national secretary H. Raja on Saturday failed in his bid to become the President of the Bharat Scouts and Guides (Tamil Nadu), after managing to secure only 52 of the 286 votes polled.

He, however, refused to accept the result and called for the election to be countermanded. “This election itself has to be countermanded. I will continue to fight against the wrongdoings in this organisation,” he said.

P. Mani, who retired as the School Education Director and was the only other candidate in the fray, was elected after securing 234 votes. Mr. Mani was also elected as one of three Vice-Presidents. He will resign from the lesser post.

Mr. Raja’s candidature had ensured that the election was a high-profile event, especially after DMK working president M.K. Stalin flagged it, alleging that the AIADMK-led State government was helping the BJP leader get elected.

Mr. Raja has denied the allegations, saying the BJP had no role in his decision to contest the poll.

Mr. Stalin tweeted after the declaration of the results on Saturday, congratulating Mr. Mani and not mentioning Mr. Raja by name. “This victory of the service minded over those in power will aid the development of the student community in future,” he said in his tweet.

Irregularities alleged

Even as polling opened shortly after 10 in the morning, there was a hint of controversy, with Mr. Raja’s supporters pointing out that voting was scheduled to begin only at 10.35 am.

After voting closed at 2 pm, Mr. Raja arrived at the Wenlock Park headquarters of the Bharat Scouts and Guides (BSG) on Kamarajar Salai to allege irregularities in the preparation of the electoral rolls and the appointment of the Returning Officer. He also claimed that the BSG had shown undue haste in holding elections on September 16, when it had time till September 23.

He read out a letter which he said was sent by the Chief National Commissioner of the BSG to the organisation’s Tamil Nadu office on Friday by email, and in which the Chief National Commissioner had stated, “We decide to advice you not to conduct the proposed election on 16/9/2017 till further orders.”

Mr. Raja refused to discuss the possibility of a legal challenge, saying the national headquarters will countermand the elections. “Since they have already written a letter to the State body, the national headquarters will countermand [the election] and take further action. This election is illegal,” he contended.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 3:47:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/bjps-raja-loses-bid-to-head-scouts-and-guides/article19700773.ece

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