New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Atishi Marlena, who has been chosen as the party’s candidate for 2019 Lok Sabha polls, has dropped her last name, reportedly on the insistence of her party leaders.
According to some reports, Atishi who has been named as a candidate from the East Delhi constituency was asked to drop her last name ahead of election campaign as it ‘sounded Christian’.
“The BJP started spreading rumours about Atishi even though she is from a Punjabi Rajput family. So the party requested her to remove her surname from all our campaign material," a report in NDTV quoted an AAP leader as saying.
However, the party refuted the allegations and said Atishi was not compelled to change her last name.
Akshay Marathe, AAP joint secretary, termed Atishi a ‘progressive politician’ and said she does not use the surname 'Singh' as she doe not intend to encourage caste-based politics.
A progressive politician like @AtishiAAP who DOES NOT use her caste name 'Singh' to ask for votes, is being targeted for using only Atishi without 'Marlena'— Akshay Marathe (@AkshayMarathe) August 28, 2018
Our discourse is around education and healthcare, not on identities of caste and religion.
Several reports have said that Atishi’s parents, Dr Tripta Wahi and Dr Vijay Singh, were a supporter of the communist ideology and gave her a last name combining Marx and Lenin.
Reacting to the incident, Asaduddin Owaisi, president of the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen Party and a parliamentarian from Hyderabad constituency slammed the AAP and said this is reality of Indian electoral politics.
Atishi did recently change her account name of Facebook and Twitter. However, no explanation was given for it. Her name has also been amended on the AAP website.
On Monday, Atishi, who has served as advisor to Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia, was named as party’s candidate for 2019 Lok Sabha polls from the East Delhi constituency....