The concept of political revolution in the form of alternate politics is not new to India. Evolution of Jan Sangh, which went on to become BJP, Janata Dal and its offshoots like RJD, JD (U), can be considered as a natural process of change. But the emergence of Aam Aadmi Party has its own distinct feature.
Hitherto parties have either had a unique ideologies like Jan Sangh(BJP) or with a purpose- become an alternate to the established party, Congress. Of course coalitions of V.P singh government in late 80’s and Deve gowda, I.K.Gujaral governments in mid 90s, though tried to be an alternate, was short lived for the self explanatory reasons of not having any commonality, in either ideology or understanding of policies between the coalition partners.
Aam Aadmi Party came in to existence with an ambit of ‘Clean Politics’ which includes anti corruption, decriminalization of politics, making muscle and money (liquor) power irrelevant. This was the unheard voice of millions of people of this country. The ignorant attitude of major political parties gave AAP a ready acceptance amongst the people, in the form of positive results in 2013 elections of Delhi state
After the infamous resignation of Arvind Kejriwal as Chief Minister and perceived under performance in 2014 general elections, AAP was reduced to ashes. As in next Delhi sate elections, chances of AAP seemed to be far from bright, next question in minds of many was, what next? And the answer from AAP was in the form of strategies which went on very well in favor of the party.
What were the strategies of AAP to recoup?
Kejriwal, after the debacle, started afresh with a ‘Sorry’ and a request of
forgiveness for resigning from the government. People didn't feel so angry right after Kejriwal’s resignation but only when, that same old corrupt and inefficient governance came back after a brief relieved period of 49 days. All anger of the people went down with this one sorry.
- Right after 2014 general elections, AAP concentrated in building the ‘Booth Centric’ organization.
- To design the manifesto, AAP came up with a very successful concept of Delhi Dialogue, in which all sections of the society – women, youth, juggi jopidi habitats and so on were involved, consulted, interacted in designing the manifesto. People said “arey koi tho hain hamari sunne wala” (at least there is someone who is listening to us)
- The next strategy which went in favor of AAP was breaking the image of Narendra Modi to be the face of BJP in Delhi elections, forcing the party to look out for a CM candidate, unlike the elections of Maharashtra, Haryana and Kashmir.”Modi tho Pradhan manthri hai, Delhi ke CM tho nahi banenge na” (Modi is PM and will not become CM of Delhi).
- As and when BJP was considering Satish Upadhyaya for the CM candidature, AAP has brought out the expose of his having monetary stakes in the alleged faulty electricity meters running in Delhi.
- Having a first hand experience of elections, I was very much apprehensive about the influence of money and liquor particularly in the last two days. To beat this, AAP has come up with two strategies,
- Arvind Kejriwal has appealed to the people to accept money from all but vote for AAP. With this he could break that possible emotional obligation of the voter towards the person who distributed the money. This, I could sense when I asked people as to what, if you are given money? To which their reply was, “paise tho hum sabse lenge per vote tho Jhadu ko hi denge” (we will take money from all but vote only for AAP)
- Spy Cameras - The volunteers were equipped with around 5000 spy cameras to capture anyone who distributes money and liquor. This has proved to be double advantageous. One, it induced a lot of confidence in the volunteers that they can handle and curtail the distribution of money and liquor thereby protecting their vote base. Two, it will put the opponents in defensive and fearful mode.
Apart from these strategies AAP has been doing exceptional ground work in many areas, which went in favor of it.