What Aam Aadmi Party did in Delhi is beyond anyone’s imagination. The landslide clearly showed us all what Delhi-ites really wanted. Here are 10 key points while analysing the AAP victory.
1. AAP’s organisation building with a different strategy, in particular launching of various frontal outfits.
The process started before Lok Sabha polls. During the 2013 elections, AAP had roughly 15,000 volunteers for 3,500 polling premises comprising 12,000 booths. This time they had 35-40,000. In July 2014, AAP had its first structured booth volunteer unit in Tilak Nagar. It kept spreading from there.
“Volunteers are any party’s foot soldiers. They are the party’s face. You cannot win with a top heavy structure,” said AAP strategist Ashish Talwar. Overall, AAP had 50,000 active volunteers, up from 25,000 in 2013. “We launched various frontal outfits. Once elections were announced, all ships sailed in the same direction,” he said.
2. The delay in holding fresh polls a huge point for the AAP.
It started preparing in June itself. It was also first off the block in announcing candidates. It helped the Kejriwal-led party that BJP couldn’t come up with an election manifesto. “Unlike in BJP, there was no confusion in AAP. Right from the word go, we wanted paanch saal Kejriwal. There was a singularity of purpose,” said an AAP volunteer.
3. Using IITians to crack people’s voice, simply amazing!
The algorithm developed by the IIT-B group sifted through the language that constituted thousands of tweets to assess reactions to specific issues. It was also employed to determine the swing in the electorate’s sentiment towards AAP at any given point of time.
4. AAP’s backroom heroes the driving force behind awe-inspiring push back against the BJP.
Pankaj Gupta, the soft-spoken software professional has been incharge of AAP’s finances ever since the party was founded. This time he was given the target of raising Rs 25 crore to fight this election. Ashish Talwar, the former Congress leader, whose strength is his intimate knowledge of every ward of Delhi, its social and economic construct and problems, was responsible for creating a veritable army of 40,000 volunteers to strengthen. Ashish Khetan, The journalist turned politician was the brain behind the Delhi Dialogue concept which helped AAP connect with thousands of voters. These conversations with the aam aadmi eventually culminated into the party’s 70-point manifesto.
5. BJP’s induction of Kiran Bedi and her failure to change party’s fortune.
Seeing the mood of the people who were moving towards the AAP, BJP President Amit Shah inducted former IPS officer Kiran Bedi to take on Kejriwal but the plan failed and she lost from the party’s stronghold constituency, Krishna Nagar, due to her incompetency.
Even though Bedi contested from a safe seat, she failed to garner support for the party and win over their trust. Having the responsibility to campaign on all the 70 seats, she could not devote much time to her seat. And even her roadshow on the last day of campaign started without her.
6. Youth involvement and first time voters impact.
There were Flash mobs, youth campaigns, Delhi Dialog etc to catch the eye of the youth of Delhi. Youngsters in the national capital were not just supporting the AAP in large numbers but are also taking break from their work or studies to volunteer for the newly formed party that is vowing to change the way politics is run in India.
7. Arvind Kejriwal apologies for quitting as Chief Minister.
Apologising once again for quitting from the post of the chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal promised that come what may, he will not quit again. Even though the people of Delhi who were against him had started acknowledging him again as the real life “Nayak” of Delhi.
8. No clear vision of BJP for Delhi.
BJP dethered on an election manifesto for Delhi signalling that party leaders were not sure of the agenda. Making it worse, an over enthusiastic Bedi tweeted her own 25-point project for Delhi without consulting her party and it resulted in her party belatedly coming out with a vision document for the national capital. In a huge blunder, the party in its vision document called people from North East as ‘immigrants’.
9. AAP’s perception battle victory by being on ground with ‘aam aadmi’.
The Rs 10 lakh suit wore by the Prime Minister during US President Barack Obama’s visit raised many fingers as people are demanding answers on black money. Kejriwal’s ‘aam aadmi’ image wearing a muffler gave more assurance to people that he will work for them.
10. AAP’s connection with the minorities and the shift of divided Muslim vote from Congress.
What seems to have contributed to the AAP victory is a very sharp polarisation of the minorities mainly the Muslims, who constitute 11 per cent of Delhi’s voters. With their concentration in about seven to eight assembly constituencies, they were in a position to swing the elections in these constituencies. The Muslim vote, which remained divided between the Congress and the AAP during the 2013 assembly elections, seems to have shifted in favour of the AAP in a big way. Had the 2013 assembly elections witnessed a similar shift for the AAP in its favour, this election may not have been necessary.
Coming from the worst time in the Lok Sabha elections with just 4 seats in hand, it would really have been possible for the Aam Aadmi Party to gain trust of the Delhi-ites without doing something miraculous. And what they have achieved today is because of the spirit of the common people coming together.