BJP dislikes Patidars: AAP’s Guj chief Gopal Italia

New Delhi, Oct 13 : Hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Gujarat unit president of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Gopal Italia 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”.

Speaking here at the AAP headquarters, Italia — who was released a few hours after he was detained, said all these developments have been taking place ahead of the Assembly elections in Gujarat as the Patidar community has been openly expressing its support for the AAP.

Providing details on his detention, he said: “I came to know through the social media in the last few days that National Commission for Women (NCW) has issued a notice against me. However, I had no idea why it was issued… and I am yet to receive it. But since I respect women, I went the NCW office to provide an explanation. There, I was made to meet NCW chairman Rekha Sharma.”

He claimed that Sharma called him ill-behaved. “I was shocked to hear those words.”

“Out of respect, I did not say anything back to her. In fact, I was mistreated… I was also asked ‘ why there are so many people outside the Commission’s building?’ I was threatened that I would be arrested and put in jail,” he said.

Italia said that he later told his lawyer neither his statement was recorded, nor any discussion was held over the “so-called notice” regarding which he met Sharma.

“I was only being threatened. Later, the NCW called the police… I was made to sit along with 8-10 individuals who were in civilian clothes. One woman was also filming everything terming it ‘an official process’. I had demanded a copy of that video recording. Everybody was only threatening me, and there was not a single word of discussion on the so-called notice. The police personnel were eventually told to take me along with them,” Italia said.

The AAP leader said he was “picked from Gujarat and made to sit at Okhla police station in Delhi”.

“Even my lawyer was not told where I was being taken to. In fact, he was told the address of another police station. All these developments hint towards the narrow outlook towards the Patidar community,” he said.

Italia further criticised the BJP saying the party does not want the youth of the Patidar community to make any progress and take active part in politics.

“Several FIRs have been filed against me in Gujarat in the last few days. And now, attempts are being made to trouble me by taking me out of the state,” he said.


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