Gopal Rai: A fiery orator who helped build AAP's base

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New Delhi, Feb 14: Known as a fiery orator, Gopal Rai was a former student leader who came into limelight during Anna Hazare's anti-graft movement and later played a key role in building Aam Aadmi party at the grassroot level after its launch in November 2012.

Rai, who has been associated with Kejriwal since his India Against Corruption (IAC) days, will be the new transport and labour minister of Delhi.

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The 39-year-old unsuccessfully contested Assembly election from Babarpur in 2013, ending at third position. However, he bounced back this time and won with a margin of 35,000 votes against BJP's Naresh Gaur.

Rai began his career with All India Students Association in Lucknow University in 1992. He is partially paralysed as he was shot during his student days in Lucknow, but that does not deter him from doing party work.

He metamorphosed into a political activist and is credited to have built the party's volunteer base. He also participated in Anna Hazare's anti-graft movement, along with the AAP chief.

Like Sisodia, he too joined Kejriwal to form the Aam Aadmi Party. He is also a member of the Political Affairs Committee- party's apex decision making body.

On 13 December 2013, the fourth day of social activist Anna Hazare's indefinite hunger strike for passage of Jan Lokpal Bill in Ralegaon Siddhi, a verbal spat between VK Singh and Gopal Rai took place, forcing the Gandhian activist to ask Rai to leave the venue.

PTI

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