From Flinging Shoe At Minister To AAP: The Journey Of Italia

| Updated: November 9, 2022 5:49 pm

Aam Aadmi Party’s Gujarat chief and Surat’s Katargam assembly seat candidate Gopal Italia is one of the young leaders who made a mark with his struggle. Italia was associated with the Patidar movement in 2015–2016, but he wasn’t its active front-line leader. Like a common Patidar youth, despite being a government employee, he went against the government, got arrested, went to jail and lost his job. 

Born on 21 July 1989 in Botad, Gujarat in a simple farmer family, Gopal completed his primary education in Timbi village in Umrala taluka of Bhavnagar district and secondary education in Dhola village. He graduated from Gujarat University, Ahmedabad with a degree in Political Science. The rebellion was in Gopal from the beginning. Gopal of tall stature believes in changing everything.

Gopal, a simple farmer who was born on July 21, 1989 in Botad, Gujarat, completed his primary education at Timbi village in the Umrala taluka of the Bhavnagar district and his secondary education in Dhola village. He earned a political science degree from Gujarat University in Ahmedabad.

In 2013, Joined Gujarat Police and was part of Lok Rakshak Dal as a constable at Madhupura police station in Ahmedabad. In 2014, Italia got a job as a clerk in the Ahmedabad Collectorate. 

However, he was dismissed from this job of the Revenue Department within three years. While working as a clerk, Italia Patidar emerged as a well-wisher of the reservation movement. In the year 2015, when the movement was at its peak, Italia was making his mark among the Patels of Gujarat with the help of social media. By then, this was the opportunity to come close to Hardik Patel, who had become the face of the Patel movement.

After a call recording went viral in 2017, Italia suddenly made headlines in the media. It was the month of January, Italia called up the then deputy CM Nitin Patel and introduced himself as a police constable. While talking to the Deputy Chief Minister, he raised the issue of prohibition. He said that liquor is being sold in black in Gujarat. Police, politicians, businessmen are all involved in this business.

After the audio of the one-and-a-half-minute conversation went viral, the Gujarat government was slammed. Italia was booked because he had spoken as a constable even though he had left the police job in 2014.

In 2017, Italia came into the limelight for the second time for throwing a shoe at the Home Minister. Italia, alleging large-scale corruption in the state, threw a shoe at the then Gujarat minister Pradeep Singh Jadeja outside the assembly and shouted – this government is arrogant, corrupt. exploits the unemployed. Italia did the job of throwing shoes while being a government clerk. Due to which he was sacked from the revenue department for violation of service rules. He also worked for the Congress in Surat in the 2017 assembly elections. Pass leader Hardik Patel had joined the Congress and his tail was also getting fierce in the Congress. But the Patidar agitation cooled down after the 2017 assembly results.

In 2018, started “Qaida Katha” to raise awareness about constitutional law. Which he used to live from Facebook. By which he used to give information about public rights. During this, he openly spoke against the right wing.

Before joining AAP, Gopal wanted to join the Congress, but the immediate state leadership did not take him seriously. Meanwhile, Gulab Yadav was made the Aam Aadmi Party’s Gujarat in-charge. Then the organisation of AAP in Gujarat was only on paper. The age of AAP’s state convener Professor Kishore Desai was becoming a hindrance in the expansion of the organisation. In the very first meeting with Gulab Yadav, the way for Gopal to go to AAP was ready. In June 2020, Italia joined AAP as the State Vice President of Aam Aadmi Party, Gujarat.

During this, he visited Gujarat with Gulab Yadav, Gopal’s aggression was liked by the AAP in-charge and he was appointed as the state president of the party on 12 December 2020. After that, Italia never looked back.

This young man, who considers Bhagat Singh as his ideal, has a deep connection with controversies. In November 2018, in a live video on Facebook, Italia fired shots into the air, demonstrating a plastic gun used by farmers to scare away animals that damage crops. The video of the incident went viral. In which he was arrested.

The paper for the recruitment of 186 Head Clerks held on 12th December 2021 was leaked. The exam was canceled after the paper leak. Italia along with 500 AAP members protested at the BJP office for the removal of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Asit Vora from the post of Gujarat Subordinate Services Selection Board (GSSSB) chairman. For which AAP workers including Chief Minister face Isudan Gadhvi Gopal Italia spent 10 days in Sabarmati Jail.

Many of his old videos go viral from time to time and keep getting him in trouble. Personal remarks on the Prime Minister, several statements about women not visiting temples became the reason why the party refrained from making him the chief minister’s face. A lot will be decided in this election, how long the political future of this 33-year-old youth will be.

Also Read: Bhajji, Singer Anmol AAP’s Star Campaigners In Gujarat 

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