AAP leaders and volunteers have again started using its trademark white Gandhi cap more frequently, in a bid to enhance the party’s “visibility” and connect with people more effectively. Over the past two days, party leaders and volunteers have been seen sporting the caps with ‘Aam Aadmi Party’ printed on them. This is going to be more frequent, said party leaders. Senior AAP leader Ashutosh said there was no direction from the party to wear AAP caps, but it was something that was felt by all senior party leaders. Ashutosh, Labour Minister, and the party’s Delhi unit convener Gopal Rai were seen sporting the AAP caps at the party offices. “These caps help increase party’s visibility among people and they can identify us easily,” said a party volunteer. This is also seen as the party’s effort to reconnect with people after its unimpressive performance in Punjab and humiliating defeat in Rajouri Garden by-poll and Delhi civic body elections. During his activist days when Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was a part of Anna Hazare’s anti-graft movement, ‘Main Anna Hoon’ (I am Anna Hazare) caps proved to be a big hit.
In its early days, this popular and eye-catching concept helped party volunteers spread the idea of the AAP among people. AAP workers sporting the cap, standing at busy places like in and outside Metro stations, bus stops, malls and even outside colleges in the national capital was a regular scene, ahead of Delhi’s 2013 Assembly polls. This strategy was also adopted during the Lok Sabha polls, when the nascent party was aiming to increase its presence across India. In Varanasi, where Kejriwal unsuccessfully contested against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha polls, these caps were an instant hit.
However, the use of the caps became less frequent over the past few months, the reason for which is unknown. Mukesh Bhatedia, an AAP volunteer, said party leaders have emphasised on wearing AAP caps as this our “identity”. “People had stopped wearing these caps for sometime now. So, it was decided to use it more actively,” he said.