In a fresh salvo, former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Ashutosh has claimed that the party tried to use his surname for the purposes of seeking votes along caste lines, The Tribune has reported.
Ashutosh quit AAP on August 15 and cited “very personal reasons” for the same.
In a tweet, Ashutosh says that they had never been asked about his surname or caste during the course of his journalistic career. However, during the campaign to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections his surname was used despite his protestations for the ostensible reason that the constituency from where he was contesting had a lot of people sharing his caste.
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
While the former AAP leader clarified later that he was not part of any anti-AAP brigade, he was free to express his views as he was no longer bound by party discipline.
The latest controversy over the alleged use of Ashutosh’s caste name comes close on the heel of another controversy surrounding the dropping of AAP leader Atishi Marlena’s surname before campaigning commences for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The alleged reason behind the dropping of her surname revolves around the fact that her surname ‘sounded Christian’.
AAP had lost all seven seats in Delhi.