In the tweet addressed to AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, Smriti Irani said, “Gutter mouth Gopal Italia now abuses Hira Ba with your blessings”.
New Delhi: Union minister Smriti Irani today added to the huge political row in Gujarat ahead of elections over an Aam Aadmi Party leader’s alleged derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an old video. Tweeting a fresh video that purportedly showed AAP’s Gopal Italia making derogatory remarks about the Prime Minister’s 99-year-old mother Hiraben Modi, Ms Irani said the party will be “decimated” in the coming elections in Gujarat.
It was not clear when the video was shot. In the tweet addressed to AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, Ms Irani said, “Gutter mouth Gopal Italia now abuses Hira Ba with your blessings”.
“I profer no outrage, I don’t want to show how indignant Gujaratis are but know this you have been judged & your party shall be decimated electorally in Gujarat. Now the people will deliver justice,” read the rest of the caption.
Gopal Italia, the youth leader AAP picked as its Gujarat convenor two years ago, was summoned for questioning by the National Woman's Commission today.
The questioning was over a 2018 video tweeted by the BJP’s IT cell in-charge Amit Malviya on Sunday. In it, Mr Italia was purportedly heard calling PM Modi a “neech aadmi” (lowly person).
The panel said Mr Italia used “abusive and indecent language” against PM Modi and that his comment was “gender biased, misogynist and condemnable”.
Released after three hours, Mr Italia claimed that he was “abused” by panel chairperson Rekha Sharma. “She abused me when I went to her office. I just left with folded hands,” Mr Italia said.
Arvind Kejriwal, gutter mouth Gopal Italia now abuses Hira Ba with your blessings. I profer no outrage, I don’t want to show how indignant Gujaratis are but know this you have been judged & your party shall be decimated electorally in Gujarat. Now the people will deliver justice. pic.twitter.com/Ljh9R1DamD— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) October 13, 2022
“Instead of hearing me out, the NCW chairperson called the police and sent me to the police station. This shows the entire BJP is plotting against the Patel community. They had many of us shot. They are jealous of Patidars. They want to harass me at any cost. The cops admitted they had orders from above to detain me,” he told NDTV.
Ms Sharma told reporters that Mr Italia had claimed that he was not the person in the video in a verbal statement. However, in his written response, he said he did not mean it. She also accused AAP workers of trying to mob her office, triggering a backlash from AAP.
The party claimed that the BJP was bringing up old videos as ammunition for an election where they are certain of a defeat. Mr Italia was targetted as he belongs to the Patidar community and comes from a poor family, AAP contended.
“You are so rattled by the fear of defeat in Gujarat that you are releasing an old video of our state president Gopal Italia, when he was not even a member of AAP, to target him now as he comes from a poor family and Patidaar community,” AAP’s national spokesperson Sanjay Singh told reporters at a press conference.