The past decade has seen an immense change in the electoral politics of India. Political parties have adapted themselves to the change in the trends and have evolved from an era of print campaigns to internet campaigns. It has been in the tradition of our political parties to capture vote banks since the inception of electoral politics in India. In fact, there are marked vote banks in India, classified on the basis of caste, creed, religion and even gender which our political parties exploit gain majority.
Skipping directly to the recent political developments in India Aam Admi Party (AAP) has probably been the party which has created a lot of breaking news in the recent past. The party’s existence is reported to be a creation of the differences between Arvind Kejriwal and Anna Hazare regarding whether or not to politicize the popular India Against Corruption movement that had been demanding a Jan Lokpal Bill since 2011.
Kejriwal’s party was formally launched on 26 November 2012. In an interview on the day he said, “It is a historic moment today. On 26 November 1949, the Constitution of India was adopted and today, on 26 November 2012, people of this country are redeeming that pledge why we fought for the country and the kind of India we wanted”
This Indian activist wanted a change, he propagated that Aam Aadmi Party will fight against the culture of “bribe-taking”. Kejriwal joined the field Indian politics, which since the time of its inception has been dominated by two major parties with their own scoop of vote banks.
The AAP has led several protests since its formation. But that doesn’t get you votes. People might support you in your campaigns, might speak for you. But when it comes down to election, it has always been the vote banks that play the decisive role in bring in a party into the majority. They really needed to be innovative as it is a very hard battle ground for them where the presence of parties like Congress and BJP is inevitable.
An IITian Kejriwal had one big task ahead of him. Not only he had to justify his decision of joining politics after refusing it at the first place but also approach voters as election was just months away. It was almost impossible for him to capture the conventional vote banks. What he needed was something new, something innovative.
Few months after the launch of his party, we saw his posters across the autos in Delhi. Initially one or two autos carried Aam Admi Party’s poster. What was interesting about the posters were that they happened to be very blunt, criticizing both the Government and opposition.
The team of AAP workers took the pain of reaching out to every autowalla in Delhi, not only convincing them to put their poster, but also securing the votes by empathizing with their problems. It is very interesting to note that autowallas constitute quite a fraction of the total Delhi population. This is one area which almost every political party missed out.
Today just a month before the elections, almost every auto puller in Delhi has prepared themselves to vote for AAP. And why should they not? They even have one of their very fellow auto driver as a candidate in the elections. What could have been a better incentive for them to vote? A very smart thinking of the AAP think tank has secured them a vote bank which was not even visible to our main stream parties.
Another latent voting crowd is the newly enrolled college students. The just turned 18’s have no idea upon who to vote because rarely they are exposed to main stream politics, especially in Delhi. No party directly approaches them for vote, keeping them aloof from the real vote bank politics. Here again, AAP clicked. Rather than approaching them for union elections, they directly approached them for the Delhi Elections, asking them to vote for a change.
Hence, under the prevailing circumstances, AAP played it smart. It was really difficult to change the mindset of the exiting voting population, hence they improvised. The result of the all their hard work would only be known in the fore coming December Assembly elections 2013.