It’s now just over a week since Arvind Kejriwal's 49-day government fell, but the fledgling party is revving the momentum it generated to try and take it from Delhi’s Civil Lines to the Capital’s Raisina Hill.
Here is how Arvind Kejriwal is looking to make that miracle happen in the Lok Sabha elections:
1. Touch-and-feel politics and media power
AAP’s success in Delhi hinged on a door-to-door campaign, the support of the omnipresent autorickshaws and a media blitz. But for that, the party had toiled for a little more than a year, with over 40 of the 70 candidates declared months before the elections. Campaigning too was limited to a few hundred square kilometres.
With that canvas now spanning close to 20 states, AAP is looking at television as its force multiplier. The volunteers who were the heart of Aam Aadmi Party's Delhi campaign will supplement that, reaching out to corners with little media reach.
2. Packaging underdog power
A large part of strategising for the Lok Sabha polls revolves around advertising the work done in Delhi. “We need to advertise to counter those, including the media, that question our intent. For instance, it is important to remind people that we resigned from the Delhi government because of other parties joining hands to refuse the passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill, and not because of the conspiracy theories floating around,” a source says.
Measures such as flash mobs, music concerts, street performances will also be used to attract people. In Mumbai, in addition to the door-to-door campaigns, the party is organising events at railway stations and in colleges.
3. Harnessing the power of Celebrities
The party is also planning to use celebrity power. “While Raghu Ram and Vishal Dadlani joined the campaign for Delhi, we expect some Marathi film personalities to contest in the Lok Sabha polls,” says AAP source.
In Mumbai, the party’s efforts are expected to be helped by Sandeep Desai, a professor who begs on local trains to raise money for schools.
The party plans to field intellectual, entertainment and corporate luminaries. “Rajiv Bajaj (managing director, Bajaj Auto), Adarsh Shastri (Lal Bahadur Shastri’s grandson), Rajmohan Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson), and singer-songwriter Rabbi Shergill are in the fray,” sources in the party say.
4. Anti-corruption plank power
The transition from Delhi to India will also require the party to take a stance on several issues they had thus far sidestepped. Arvind Kejriwal walked into one such minefield