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Gujarat: Man who had impersonated as a govt employee and hurled shoe at minister appointed as vice president of state unit by AAP

Gopal Italia, who was earlier associated with Hardik Patel’s Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), had joined Aam Aadmi recently in the virtual presence of senior national party leader and minister in Delhi government, Gopal Rai.

The Aam Aadmi Party has appointed controversial leader Gopal Italia as the vice-president of Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Gujarat unit. The 31-year-old leader, who has various criminal cases against him, had joined the party recently.

According to the reports, Gopal Italia, who was earlier associated with Hardik Patel’s Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), had joined Aam Aadmi recently in the virtual presence of senior national party leader and minister in Delhi government, Gopal Rai.

The controversial leader had claimed that he had joined the AAP as it was a party of educated leaders.

“Only an educated leadership can give a new direction to the political system. I want the AAP’s vision of governance that has been implemented in Delhi, to be implemented in Gujarat. It is a vision where quality education and health amenities are available to people free of cost. I also have a vision of a corruption-free system. I want people to elect a government on the basis of such basic issues. And to achieve those goals, I have joined the AAP,” said Italia.

Cases against Italia

Gopal Italia came to limelight in 2017 after he had impersonated as a government employee and called up Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel to complain about the inefficient prohibition law in the state.

The phone call had become viral on social media, following which Italia also faced a criminal case of impersonation. During the call, he had identified himself as an LRD jawan by mistake.

Again in 2017, he had stoked a massive controversy after he had hurled a shoe at Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja, accusing him of corruption in Gujarat. The incident had occurred outside the Gujarat assembly where Jadeja was about to address media persons. Following the incident, Italia, who was a clerk in the revenue department was dismissed from service for violation of service rules.

Later, Italia who is known to be vocal against both BJP and the Congress, joined the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), a social organisation, led by Hardik Patel and worked with it for next two years.

Gopal Italia is also facing a number of criminal cases against him in Gujarat. However, he maintains that all the cases are political in nature.

After joining AAP, Gopal Italia had said, “I am proud to have chosen the AAP. We will create our own unique identity instead of going for a ready made identity (of two established political parties in Gujarat). I have chosen a path of struggle.”

Italia also added that AAP was planning big for the upcoming by-elections to eight assembly seats and general elections of local bodies, scheduled to be held later this year. He claimed that the AAP will give a model where educated youth will get maximum chance and platform for good governance-oriented politics.

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