Like the Congress party and the BJP, the relatively new political party AAP has also not been wholly detached from advancing the caste factor in their electoral politics.
Former AAP leader Ashutosh has accused the party of having tried to invoke caste sentiments by asking him to use his surname during the 2014 elections. Recently, another prominent leader Atishi Marlena dropped her surname because it sounded Christian.
‘Marlena’, the last name of Atishi, is an amalgamation of Marx and Lenin. It has been emphasised that she has dropped her given name for some kind of the higher objective. Coming from a Punjabi Rajput family, she became the party’s first candidate for the 2019 parliamentary polls.
Although her actual surname is ‘Singh’ yet she refrains from using the last name simply to put a damper on the caste-based politics. Was her Christian sounding surname ‘Marlena’ averse to the caste-based political setting?
She has made it clear that the decision was not initiated under the party’s pressure. It was her own decision as she wanted to appeal equally to all her voters.
Denying the influence of caste on his party, the AAP general secretary Akshay Marathe stated that the party’s discourse reloves around healthcare and education, not the identities of caste and religion.
Taking the point even further, the AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said this was the reality of Indian politics. Even though it is the 21st century, one could not have a Muslim or Christian sounding name and expect to get elected.