Arvind Kejriwal's 5 power steps to thrash BJP, Congress

Written by FE Online | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 23 2014, 22:06pm hrs
Arvind KejriwalCampaigning too was limited to a few hundred square kilometres.
Its 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 Delhis Civil Lines to the Capitals 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

AAPs 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 partys 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 Shastris grandson), Rajmohan Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhis 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 when he defended the idea of khap panchayats.

While some see it jostling for secular space as the Congress, AAP says its main plank will be corruption. With its ideology of including people, the party is secular. Therefore, we find ourselves in natural opposition to the BJP and Narendra Modi, an AAP leader says.

5. Fund power

If fundraising for the Delhi Assembly elections revolved around online donations and tapping entrepreneurs, AAP has taken a huge leap for the Lok Sabha polls. Meetings with high net worth individuals (HNIs) in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Gurgaon, EMI options for donors, plastic and mobile money are some of the ways in which the party plans to raise funds.

Party members maintain that a target hasnt been set yet for the Lok Sabha elections. The budget has not been fixed because we do not know how many seats we would be contesting. On an average, the sum per constituency is around Rs 1 crore, including the amount that will be spent by the candidate, Gaurav says.