AAP’s backstage volunteers and its six steps to victory

New Delhi, Dec 8: IT professionals, engineers, businessmen — thousands of them worked backstage tirelessly as volunteers of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for the past eight months, helping the party carve itself a stupendous showing in the Delhi assembly polls

The members who were part of the strategy shared their experience with IANS on how it helped the party achieve success in such a short span of time.

The party had drawn up a six-step strategy for the elections.

IT professional Sandeep Bist, 30, who joined the AAP in February this year said they had very little time to work out their strategy.

“A team of 25 youths was formed who were connected with the party volunteers working at the booth level. In the meantime, we were receiving a lot of suggestions for the campaigning,” Bist told IANS.

“It started with an awareness drive in March. Within three weeks we managed to enroll 1,100 people of Palam area as voters,” he said.

“In April, we launched a door-to-door campaign. At that time we found 72,000 fake voters in some areas of Delhi and informed the Delhi election commission. The campaign went on for two months from April,” he added.

The volunteers kept bringing such anomalies to the notice of the election commission.

The third step was the Calling campaign. “According to this campaign, we flashed a mobile number to the people of India and other countries to get their suggestions for the party’s improvement,” another volunteer told IANS.

“We used to get at least 100 calls a day from India and abroad. From May to November, we received a total of over five lakh calls,” he added.

The party’s ‘Play for change’ campaign was another interesting drive.

An IITan from Kanpur, Nandan Mishra, who left his job to work as a volunteer, formed a band.

They performed at various places in the capital, playing patriotic songs and informing the audience about the party’s objectives.

“We started from Connaught Place in October and covered 15 market places,” Raushan Stagger, a Class 11 student who is a member of this band, told IANS.

Another step was ‘Metro wave’ in which the volunteers created a buzz among the commuters against corruption. Around 10-15 party members would walk on the Metro platform with the party cap and flag and tell commuters about the objectives of AAP.

The last one was Booth Management drive. The volunteers would keep giving ground report of the campaigning to the party headquarter. Senior party members would instruct them on the further course of action.

“Arvind Kejriwal would sometimes speak to the volunteers directly. He himself gave advice to the volunteers and workers working at the booth level,” said another party member.

“To change the system you have to be in the system. I believe that India needs a new political force like AAP to eradicate corruption,” D.D. Sharma, a businessman who looks after the AAP help desk at the Hanuman Road party office in Connaught Place, told IANS.

The party office in the heart of Delhi belongs to a businessman based abroad who gave it to AAP in July to run its party activities at a rent of Re.1 per month. A couple, who are cooks, have been cooking the meals for at least 200 AAP workers daily for the past two months.

(Alok Singh can be contacted at alok.s@ians.in)

IANS