New Delhi: 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 Lok Sabha 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.
‘But, I am not anti-AAP’
Hours after his first tweet, Ashutosh again tweeted to say that his comments should not be seen as an attack on AAP. He further clarified that he is not part of the anti-AAP brigade. ‘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 the attack on AAP. It will be gross manipulation of media freedom. Spare me. I not a member of the anti-AAP brigade.