Ashutosh had joined the AAP in 2014 and was fielded from Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency against heavyweights like Congress’ Kapil Sibal and BJP’s Harsh Vardhan.
Two weeks after he dealt a body blow to the Aam Aadmi Party announcing his ouster from the party he joined in 2014, former leader Ashutosh has dropped a bomb on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. A day after AAP got embroiled in a controversy over senior leader Atishi Marlena being asked to drop her last name as it “sounded Christian”, disgruntled leader Ashutosh has alleged that he was forced to use his surname ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and accused the party of indulging in caste politics.
“In 23 years of my journalism, no one asked my caste, surname. Was known by my name. But as I was introduced to party workers as LOKSABHA candidate in 2014 my surname was promptly mentioned despite my protest. Later I was told – Sir, aap jeetenge kaise, aapki jaati ke yahan kaafi vote hain (How else will you win, sir? There are several voters of your caste here),” Ashutosh tweeted.
Ashutosh had joined the AAP in 2014 and was fielded from Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency against heavyweights like Congress’ Kapil Sibal and BJP’s Harsh Vardhan. Vardhan won the seat and eventually became the Union Minister. After his turbulent 4-year stay in the party, Ashutosh announced his resignation on August 15. However, Arvind Kejriwal said he would not accept the resignation “in this lifetime”.
Yesterday, reports claimed that senior AAP leader Atishi Marlena has dropped her last name for all political purposes. The name Marlena was apparently based on Communist thinkers Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. The party has rejected reports that it forced the AAP leader to change her last name because it was “Christian-sounding”.
According to reports quoting sources in the party stated that Marlena is not her surname and her surname was Singh, adding the second name (Marlena) was given by her parents. “She has decided to use just Atishi for her Lok Sabha election campaign,” an AAP leader said.
As part of the change, Atishi’s Twitter handle now reads “@AtishiAAP” from the earlier @Atishimarlena. The AAP leader’s profile in the party’s official website has also been changed. Campaign leaflets, posters also carry her first name only. The AAP is yet to officially declare its candidates for the Lok Sabha polls which are scheduled to be held next year.
However, they have named Atishi (East Delhi), Raghav Chadha (South Delhi), Pankaj Gupta (Chandni Chowk), Dilip Pandey (Northeast Delhi) and Ghuggan Singh (Northwest Delhi) as Lok Sabha constituency in-charge.