- Ashutosh said he had never used his last name
- He quit the AAP on August 15 citing personal reasons
- His tweet came after AAP's clarification over Atishi Marlena's last name
Former Aam Aadmi Party leader Ashutosh alleged today that he had been forced to mention his last name, even though he never used one, by the party when he was fighting the 2014 national election from a constituency in Delhi.
Ashutosh, a former journalist, quit the AAP on August 15, citing personal reasons.
His tweet this morning appeared to be in response to the report that AAP leader Atishi Marlena, who is likely to contest the 2019 general election, has been forced to drop her last name over rumours that she was being projected as a Christian though she isn't.
"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 Lok Sabha candidate in 2014 my surname was promptly mentioned despite my protest," posted Ashutosh, who uses a single name.
He added that he was told later his caste would win him votes. Ashutosh lost the contest from Chandni Chowk against the BJP's Harsh Vardhan and Congress's Kapil Sibal.
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 - सर आप जीतोगे कैसे, आपकी जाति के यहाँ काफी वोट हैं ।- ashutosh (@ashutosh83B) August 29, 2018
As his tweet was highlighted by the media, Ashutosh posted a clarification two hours later, saying it would be "wrong" to interpret his words as an attack on AAP.
My tweet is misunderstood by TV HAWKS. I am no longer with AAP, not constrained by party discipline and free to express my views. It will be wrong to attribute my words as attack on AAP. It will be gross manipulation of media freedom. Spare me. I not member of anti-AAP BRIGADE.- ashutosh (@ashutosh83B) August 29, 2018
Yesterday, the AAP denied reports that it had forced Atishi Marlena to drop her last name because it was "Christian-sounding".
Atishi Marlena is likely to be AAP's candidate from the east Delhi constituency in the national polls.
Atishi's last name is no more in posters, banners, hoardings and poll pamphlets.
Her Twitter handle has changed from @Atishimarlena to @AtishAAP. Her name has been amended on the AAP website. "The BJP started spreading rumours about Atishi even though she is from a Punjabi Rajput family," said an AAP leader.
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