Patidar agitation weakened the system of monopoly in Gujarat politics: Gopal Italiatext_fields
Hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Gujarat unit president of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Gopal Italia had on Thursday said the saffron party dislikes the people of the Patidar community.
Earlier on Thursday, Delhi Police had detained Italia following which the AAP came down heavily on the BJP for the "selective targeting and subjugation of the Patidar community in Gujarat".
Italia was summoned by NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma for using "abusive & indecent language" against PM Modi.
Now in an interview with Indian Express, Italia on Saturday defended his remarks stating that the several old videos surfacing on the internet showing him badmouthing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his mother, and advising women to avoid religious gatherings are of the time when he was not a part of any party, or associated with politics.
He stated that the videos were of the time when the Patidar agitation was on where people were fired upon by the BJP with 14 youths killed, and a thousand sent to jail.
He added that they are just sharing his videos of when he was associated with the agitation which according to him shows that they are targeting him at an individual level and making personal attacks because he is a Patidar.
When asked about his involvement in several controversies, including making a phone call to deputy CM Nitin Patel, pretending to be police personnel, throwing a shoe at the then MoS (Home), a gun-flashing incident, and now the old videos, he defended it by responding that these things happen from time to time.
"If we keep digging past, then Union Minister Smriti Irani too protested on the streets of Delhi once with a gas cylinder on her head. What is the meaning of all this then? A 'great man' promised to raise the value of the rupee to Rs 35 against a dollar if voted to power)… said will give Rs 15 lakh to every person," IE quotes him as saying.
When asked about the context of those videos which are being shared and his political position at the time, he replied that he had no position in any way and said that he was just a volunteer.
Speaking about the issues of the Patidars now and promises that the AAP hold for them if voted to power, he said that the party will resolve three major issues such as inflation, expensive education, and corruption.
Responding to how the Patidar agitation shaped the politics of Gujarat after 2015, he replied that the system of Monopoly in politics has weakened.
He added that if agitations had not happened, youth like him would not have got the opportunity to come into politics.
"A new zeal and energy have got a place in politics, and people are also accepting this new leadership. There was no ecosystem to make leaders earlier. If someone had potential and wanted to join politics, without any recommendation, without any godfather, it was not possible. But after the agitation, one can now make a place in politics."