Days after quitting the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) citing “very, very personal reasons”, Ashutosh on Wednesday appeared to have made a veiled attack on the party and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The journalist-turned-politician took to Twitter to accuse the party of resorting to caste politics by making his surname public despite his “protest” during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Ashutosh said he was told that was necessary for him to reveal his surname as there was a huge number of voters of his caste.
“Later I was told – sir aap jeetoge kaise, aapki jaati ke yahan kaafi vote hain (sir how will you win, there are several votes of your caste here),” Ashutosh said in his tweet this morning.
However, in a later tweet, Ashutosh went on to clarify that his tweet was “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,” he said.
Noticeably, another AAP leader Atishi Marlena, chosen as the party’s candidate for the 2019 Lok Sabha election from East Delhi constituency, has dropped her last name. The party has refuted reports that it had forced her ‘Christian sounding’ last name.
Several media reports have said that her parents, Dr Tripta Wahi and Dr Vijay Singh, being committed Leftists, gave her a title combining Marx & Lenin.
It has also been reported that AAP was forced to take the decision to dodge attacks from the BJP as the saffron party has already started spreading rumours that Atishi was a Christian and a foreigner.
Resigning from the party on August, Ashutosh had tweeted: “Every journey has an end. My association with AAP which was beautiful/revolutionary has also an end. I have resigned from the PARTY/requested PAC to accept the same. It is purely from a very very personal reason. Thanks to party/all of them who supported me throughout. Thanks.”
Soon after, Kejriwal responded by saying, “How can we accept your resignation, Sir? Not in this birth. Sir, we all love you.”
Days after his resignation, Ashish Khetan, another close confidante of Kejriwal, also hinted at quitting the party saying that he is “not involved in active politics”. However, he is yet to officially confirm the news of him quitting AAP.
According to sources, Ashutosh, Khetan and Kumar Vishwas, a founder member of the party, were upset over the AAP leadership’s choice of Delhi-based businessman Sushil Gupta and chartered accountant N D Gupta for two of the three Rajya Sabha seats in April.
Ashutosh had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Chandni Chowk constituency against Congress’ Kapil SIbal and BJP’s Harsh Vardhan but had lost.