Millennium Post

Long road ahead

The underdog Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) stunned both the Congress and the BJP in recent Delhi Assembly election. While political pundits underestimated the newly-formed party, they however won 28 seats, much ahead of the Congress, who won only eight seats. The AAP factor even stopped the Narendra Modi wave in Delhi. The BJP, despite being the single largest party, with 32 seats could not form the government due to them. Arvind Kejriwal remarkably emerged as a mass leader after defeating Shiela Dikshit from the New Delhi constituency.

After the 1974 anti-emergency movement and the 1989 Mandal Commission agitation, it was Anna Hazare’s Jan Lokpal Bill campaign in 2011 that got huge support from the youth all across the country. After the spilt of Anna and Kejriwal over the formation of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), young voters started considering Kejriwal as a sole crusader against corruption and a leader who could bring about a new revolution in the country.

Meanwhile, at the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) election, BJP supported the student body Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) who defeated the Congress student wing of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) by 3-1.

Congress’ defeat in the recent four state assembly election clearly indicates that Rahul Gandhi has lost his charisma among the new voters and the Modi-factor had worked quite well for the BJP. At the same time, the AAP which considers youth as its prospective supporter is also doing its best to maintain the momentum to attract some first-time voters who are vocal, energetic and are ready to come on road to force the government to take strict action against some burning issues like the Delhi gang rape and Anna’s Jan Lokpal Bill.

The AAP had conducted an internal survey in which the party found out that people who are below the age of 35 and the lower class are two sections that form their backbone in terms of support and they cannot afford to ignore them.

The newly-formed party is using several campaign drives such as social media and street plays to reach out to their voters. So far, they have been pretty successful as these modes of communication are a hit amongst the youngsters.

AAP is also very active to reach its young voters via the Internet and social sites, public gatherings and above all with the help of public mass transport such as autos, taxis and even the Delhi metro to promote their agenda. The party also reached the grass-root level and prepared actively for the assembly elections since its formation. Yogendra Yadav, psephologist and AAP member, admitted that it was not easy to convince the youth to vote. But he was confident that his party has been able to strike a chord with them. ‘We are appealing to their innate sense of idealism and patriotism. In our campaign drives, we told them that it is their duty to vote. If they don’t do it, they cannot blame others for bad state of affairs.’

While the Congress who had projected Rahul Gandhi as one of most loving and emerging youth leader in India is looking upto the BJP and AAP. The youth voters are disappointed and hurt due to his silence on the crucial issues such as the December 2012 Delhi gang rape and others.

After getting huge success in Delhi assembly election, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is all set to repeat its magic in the upcoming Haryana assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

There were thousands of party workers who came to the national capital from different parts of the country and camped for months. They supported the AAP and learnt a new way to reach out to the voters. They are now ready to apply the same experience and use the same way to interact with voters in Haryana and other parts of the country,’ said a senior AAP leader.

AAP has come out as an effective alternative to the BJP and Congress for the countrymen. People are fed up of corruption and dirty politics. They want change and transparency and we are going to give them this option,’ he added.

‘We have set a new trend in Delhi and national politics. We broke several jinx such as caste and community votebanks and revived the culture of door-to-door canvassing. The record turnout in the assembly election and the popular support for a new political outfit bears ample testimony to the public response to this new political beginning,’ said the leader.

‘We are here to challenge the political establishment of the country. Our next mission would be to offer a genuine political alternative in the Lok Sabha elections of 2014. Corruption is a major issue troubling almost every person in the country,’ he added.

‘Thousands of party workers came to Delhi from different parts of the country to support the party. They helped  develop new way to reach out to the voters. They worked day and night for months to achieve this goal. Now they are in a position to replicate the same experience in Haryana and other parts of the country’, said a senior AAP leader.
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