New Delhi: With just months to go for the Delhi assembly elections, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is studying various successful poll campaigns, including that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the chief ministers of Punjab, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.
Sources told ThePrint that an AAP outreach team is dissecting at least four poll campaigns that were helmed by political strategist Prashant Kishor as the party begins its bid to recapture power in the national capital.
These include Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign, Nitish Kumar’s chief ministerial bid in the 2015 Bihar assembly elections, Capt Amarinder’s campaign in the 2017 Punjab assembly polls and Y.S.R. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s 2019 assembly win in Andhra Pradesh.
The AAP, a party insider said, is particularly keen on understanding the methods that the BJP has been using to make electoral inroads, despite Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal being at loggerheads with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Co-convener of AAP’s outreach team, Ankit Lal, however, told ThePrint that Kishor’s strategies aren’t the only poll campaigns the party is studying.
“Prashant Kishor isn’t the only or exclusive one whose campaigns we’re looking at,” Lal said, adding that he felt the strategist was highly overrated.
Citing examples of the Malaysian, Turkish and Israel elections, Lal said, “We don’t limit our learnings to say only local leaders here as sometimes one gets out-of-the-box ideas even from international campaigns. There is a lot to learn.”
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The campaigns being combed for ideas
The AAP outreach team is studying how these winning candidates targeted different age groups in order to connect with their prospective voters. It is breaking down the design of these campaigns to understand how they were planned in the first place.
For instance, sources said that the younger members of the team are looking at how Modi connected with various election demographics such as farmers and the youth as well as the BJP’s successful engagement with social media. The team is also studying Modi’s Chai Pe Charcha, Har Ghar Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi, Run for Unity, among other initiatives.
Similarly, members of the outreach team are also looking at “Nitish Connect” or “Nitish ke 7 Nishchay” to see how the Bihar chief minister managed to maintain both an online and an offline presence throughout his campaign. Nitish’s campaign also saw 3 crore personal letters sent to people to highlight his seven-point agenda and the government’s achievements.
As for Captain Amarinder, the AAP team is looking at his Coffee with Captain as a module for an interactive public outreach campaign. The team is also looking at the Har Ghar Toh Ek Captain, Karza Kursi Khatam and the Captain Kisan Yatra poll methods. The Congress stormed back to power in Punjab after 10 years, riding on Kishor’s strategies.
Kishor and his India Political Action Committee team had also proved their mastery in propelling Jagan to power with an overwhelming majority in this year’s assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh.
Jagan had set out on a 15-month Praja Sankalp Pradayatra to establish a direct connect with voters in the state but it is his success with the campaign song ‘Raavali Jagan Kaavali Jagan ( We want Jagan, Jagan should win)’ and his catchy slogans that the AAP team is focussing on.
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