Gujarat Aam Aadmi Party leader Gopal Italia was on Monday arrested in connection with a case registered in September last year for allegedly using defamatory words against state Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and was granted bail.
In November of last year, Italia made the comments at a rally before the Gujarat election. At the event, he allegedly addressed Sanghavi as Drugs Sanghvi and referred to Gujarat BJP president C R Paatil as an ex-bootlegger in a viral video.
Following his arrest, Italia claimed that “Since offences in the FIR were bailable, Crime Branch let me go. AAP showed its strength in the last election in Gujarat, which is considered BJP’s stronghold. That is why they are scared.”
Reacting to Italia’s arrest, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused the BJP of targeting AAP leaders. “BJP is so shocked by the spectacular performance of the Aam Aadmi Party in Gujarat that it has now arrested our Gujarat leader Gopal Italia. Now, BJP has only one aim, how to finish Aam Aadmi Party. These people will put everyone in jail one by one,” Kejriwal said.
Italia’s arrest follows the imprisonment of two other senior AAP leaders, Manish Sisodia and Satyender Jain, who were arrested over corruption cases.
Italia was booked by the Surat police in September for his alleged defamatory comments about Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi and Gujarat BJP president C R Paatil. The FIR offences were bailable, which led to Italia’s release on bail.