Even As Kejriwal Invokes Shri Krishna, Casteist And Hinduphobic Videos Of AAP's Gujarat Unit Chief Circulate On Social Media
Just like the party, AAP's Gujarat party head, Italia, is not new to controversy.
Aam Aadmi Party is in the soup again. This time the controversy concerns its Gujarat party head, Gopal Italia.
In a viral video, Italia is seen making casteist slurs against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and abusing him. The video is from 2017 when Italia called PM Modi “neech” and termed his rallies as fake.
Italia is not new to controversy. A former constable, he rose to fame when he posed as a cop to talk to Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and alleged poor implementation of liquor prohibition in the state. The video was shared widely, while he was arrested under section 120.
Italia also tried to grab headlines, in 2017, by throwing a shoe at Gujarat Home Minister, Pradeepsinh Jadeja, when he was addressing the media outside the Gujarat legislative assembly complex in Gandhinagar.
He was caught immediately after the incident. The police called Italia 'of an unstable mind'. As a consequence, he was suspended from his job as a clerk with Ahmedabad District Collectorate.
Rise Within AAP
During the Patidar agitation, Italia worked closely with Hardik Patel who later joined Congress and then quit the party to join the BJP.
Italia jumped into the political fray in June 2020 when he joined the AAP as its vice-president. The same year he was elevated to the post of state party president.
In June 2022, the AAP went through a complete overhaul after it dissolved its Gujarat unit. Italia was the only one spared, while more than 600 new office-bearers were appointed.
A Staunch Anti-Hindu Voice
Italia, in the past, attacked Hindu cultural practices and questioned people on wasting time in doing religious rituals and kathas.
In a no-holds-barred video, Italia is heard calling people who attend Kathas and clap as ‘hijras’ (eunuchs). More such videos of Italia abusing Hindus and Hinduism are doing the rounds on social media.
Recently, however, he has been on a temple-run with AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal.
Italia: A New Headache for Kejriwal?
After the video of Italia using derogatory language against PM Modi has gone viral, the BJP has upped the ante against the AAP.
Already, Kejriwal has been under fire after one of his Delhi ministers was part of a ceremony of mass conversions of Hindus and asked people to shun Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Though the minister has resigned from the post he has not been suspended from the party.
Italia is not an ordinary AAP worker. He is the party’s state president and a probable CM candidate. He rose to the top in AAP’s Gujarat unit, even after he displayed unstable behaviour and anti-Hindu views.
Italia’s videos of abusing and deriding Hindu rituals as well as PM Modi further shine a light on Kejriwal’s choice of men. It also puts in jeopardy his latest proclamation as a messenger of Lord Krishna and a staunch devotee of Lord Ram.
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