Nagpur: Contrary to speculations, Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi was on Saturday unanimously re-elected as RSS General Secretary, second-in-command of the influential right wing outfit, for a third straight term.
Joshi, 67, known for his organisational skills and astute planning was elected 'Sarkaryavah' by the delegates attending the Akhil Bhartiya Pratinidhi Sabha, the apex policy and decision making body of the RSS, for a fresh 3-year term, Sangh's all-India Sah Prachar Pramukh Nand Kumar told reporters.
Joshi's name was proposed by Siddhnath Singh, the organisation's head for Bihar and seconded by B Prakash, Ramkrishna Rao and Sunilbhai Mehta; his counterpart from Rajasthan and provincial heads of south-central and western India respectively, he said.
Joshi was declared elected by Bajrang Lal Gupta of the northern region, who was the electoral officer for the poll, Nand Kumar said.
Speculation was rife that Joshi could be relieved of his responsibility due to his advancing age and replaced by Dattatreya Hosabale, RSS joint general secretary, considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, himself a former Sangh Pracharak.
Joshi will now choose his team of joint general secretaries. Suresh Soni and Krishan Gopal, apart from Hosabale are the three joint general secretaries currently.
In RSS, the Sarkaryavah's position is next only to its chief, Sarsanghchalak, the post occupied by Mohan Bhagwat and is virtually the executive head of the organisation.
RSS cadre had played a significant role in Modi's triumphant campaign during the Lok Sabha polls last year.
The 3-day session of the Pratinidhi Sabha got underway yesterday during which it is likely to discuss a wide range of issues including ways for smooth coordination with the BJP and the Narendra Modi government and organisational expansion.
Representatives of several RSS affiliates, including BJP, Sangh's student wing Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, VHP, Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh and Bhartiya Kisan Sangh are attending the conclave.
Nand Kumar said the Pratinidhi Sabha adopted a resolution hailing the proclamation by the 69th United Nations General Assembly to observe June 21 as the International Yoga Day.
Prime Minister Modi had in his address to UNGA on September 27 last year proposed designating a day as International Yoga Day. His proposal had received good response from the global community and 175 member states co-sponsored a resolution to that effect, which was adopted within a brief span of less than three months by consensus and without a vote.
The Pratinidhi Sabha urged the Centre and state governments to introduce yoga as part of curriculum in educational institutions and support research in the field.
Nand Kumar said reports presented by various RSS affiliates working in the field of education were discussed during today's session.
He, however, declined to elaborate on other issues that were deliberated upon by the Pratinidhi Sabha and refused to take political questions.
Joshi is scheduled to address the media tomorrow afternoon.