Aam Aadmi Party is facing an acute shortage of leaders, the situation has worsened from Yogendra Yadav to Ashish Khetan and the numerous who left or were made to leave the party in between. With the dates for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections coming closer AAP and Arvind Kejriwal are now searching for names which can make them win seats. Along with searching desperately for faces, the AAP cadres are also leaving no stone unturned to improve the chances of winning for their candidates. In one such move AAP has asked its declared Lok Sabha candidate from East Delhi constituency, Atishi Marlena, to drop her Marlena surname. AAP has asked Atishi Marlena to remove the ‘Marlena’ surname because the party is afraid that the ‘Marlena’ surname could be construed as a Christian surname. She has been asked to drop the surname from her Twitter handle and from the publicity materials.
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This type of move is surprising especially coming from the AAP which preaches secularism and leaves no opportunity of minority appeasement. Atishi Marlena was made the in-charge for the East Delhi Lok Sabha seat in June. East Delhi is dominated by people from the Hindu community and AAP is looking to tap into the Punjabi Rajput lineage of Atishi’s family. The party with a difference is looking to make ends meet this time in the Lok Sabha elections, and its candidate who had dropped her family name years ago is now ready to bow down and use it as a shield once again. AAP and its leaders have always been opportunists but this time it seems they have dropped too low. Atishi’s Twitter handle now reads, @AtishiAAP changed from the previous @AtishiMarlena. She had first drawn attention in the recent times when the General Administrations Department of AAP had cancelled the appointment of nine advisors and consultants to the Delhi cabinet in various fields. Atishi Marlena was working as an advisor to Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia on education. The AAP leadership had created the post out of thin air and then Arvind Kejriwal and co. had gone on to shed crocodile tears when the posts were cancelled by the GAD.
Atishi Marlena’s parents and retired professors Vijay Singh and Tripta Wahi had sent a letter demanding that the sentence of hanging Mohammad Afzal Guru be cancelled. A letter written to the then President Late A P J Abdul Kalam from the duo in 2006 had been widely circulated. The duo had also been booked and questioned for participating in the event where anti-India slogans and Azadi slogans were raised, the event had been organised on the anniversary of Afzal Guru’s hanging. Coming from the family it is no big surprise that Atishi chose her surname by combining the names of two communist figures from history, Marx+Lenin- Marlena. When AAP tries to preach about secularism and tries to paint BJP in communal colours it should be reminded of the tricks they themselves have resorted to in order to win elections. Arvind Kejriwal is neither a master politician nor is he a secular figure, and the whole plan of AAP seems to be failing right in front of them. This game too is being played by Arvind Kejriwal to gain seats in the Lok Sabha, something for which he has already wore a skull cap and would be ready to accept a cross too, if the equations so demand.