Calling itself way ahead of its opponents, the Congress and the BJP, Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) says it has not left out any possible means of communication to reach out to voters.
The party started working for the Lok Sabha battle even when the elections were not the main topic of discussion in the country.
“We did door-to-door campaigns, rallies, public and indoor meetings and one-to-one communication with 35 lakh people at the micro level. Roadshows, nukkad nataks, we did metro campaigns, to list a few,” AAP Delhi chief Gopal Rai said.
“We were constantly taking feedback and improved our campaign based on that. We initially focussed on rallies but got the feedback that we need to reach out to the people directly. So we switched to that.
“Our presence on the ground was becoming strong so they (BJP, Congress) parachuted celebrities to add some glamour. They also horse-traded the MLAs to make us weak but that does not have any impact on us. Rather, it turned out to be negative.
“The attack on (AAP chief and Chief Minister Arvind) Kejriwal was done as the BJP had become restless because of our popularity… The BJP was restless with the crowd turnout at our rallies,” he added.
Last week, a man slapped Kejriwal during a roadshow in Delhi.
Listing out the campaign process, Rai said that on June 1, 2018, the AAP named a list of in-charge for five of the seven Lok Sabha constituencies of Delhi.
These were Pankaj Gupta, Dilip Pandey, Raghav Chadhha, Atishi and Gugan Singh. In March, the AAP confirmed that they will be its candidates.
The BJP and the Congress named their candidates just 20 days ahead of the May 12 polls.
Although lesser-known to people, the AAP candidates started the legwork about a year ago and so they had an edge.
In September, to strengthen the structure of the party, the AAP announced the appointment of about 2.5 lakh block presidents.
The appointment of the block ‘pramukhs’ (presidents) to cover around 25,000 polling booths in Delhi was completed by November.
While the potential candidates and the block presidents were reaching out to the people, from January, the party was out campaigning in full swing.
From January, the third phase of the door-to-door campaign started.
At booth level, the party appointed 3.62 lakh ‘Vijay Pramukhs’ (victory in-charges) — who are the direct links of the party with the voters in each booth.
Each Vijay Pramukh covered 10 households in a polling booth and was responsible for providing voting slips to the voters. The party also appointed 13,500 booth heads.
Between March 23 and April 7, AAP leaders held over 250 rallies and 3,000 gatherings across the city.
The AAP candidates and leaders as well as celebrities took out bike rallies and held roadshows.