Was told caste will help get votes, says ex-AAP leader Ashutosh
Ashutosh, who resigned from the AAP earlier this month, said on Wednesday he was forced by the party to use his last name during the general election in 2014.
“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,” Ashutosh, who uses his first name, tweeted.
Ashutosh, a former journalist, said he was later told that his caste would help him get votes during the election he was contesting from Chandni Chowk. He lost to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Harsh Vardhan and Congress leader Kapil Sibal.
After his tweet was highlighted, Ashutosh posted again to say “it will be wrong to attribute my words as 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 gross manipulation of media freedom. Spare me. I not member of anti-AAP BRIGADE,” he said.
The tweet from Ashutosh, who resigned from the Aam Aadmi Party on August 15 citing personal reasons, comes a day after another Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Atishi Marlena dropped her “second name” in all party records and campaign materials. Atishi was declared as the east Delhi candidate on Monday for the Lok Sabha polls scheduled next year.
An AAP leader said it was done because the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was trying to polarise voters by suggesting that she was a “foreigner and a Christian”. Atishi said she dropped her second name because she “does not want to waste time in proving her identity.”