History has been created, yet again.
Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party has swept the Delhi Elections – 2015, and have won 67 seats out of 70. BJP, their biggest competitor managed paltry 3 seats. During the last elections in December 2013, AAP had defeated Congress by a huge margin, but it was not that big as this one.
It was totally unprecedented, and a huge embarrassment for the Modi Government, which was desperate to win the National Capital. The results are being termed as one of the biggest mandate any political party has ever received, during any election. Fighting the political party which is ruling the central government, and ruthlessly defeating it – it takes lots of guts to do so.
Political pundits will churn out miles of logical conclusion from the results, what could have been done and what would be the future political implication of Delhi.
But here, we will analyze why and how David (AAP) beat Goliath (BJP)
Last year, after Arvind Kejriwal formed the government in Delhi with outside support from Congress, he resigned after 49 days. The resignation was a huge public affair, as he sought referendum from his followers and fans via SMS, and based on the general opinion, he took the extreme action.
The resignation can be termed as Kejriwal’s biggest gamble of his short political party, as he had just defeated India’s oldest political party and formed a new Government which was barely 49 days old. Lok Sabha elections were round the corner, and he could have continued.
But yet, he gambled, and took the risk. Although he lost the Lok Sabha election, but in the long term, the gamble paid off.
Saying sorry when you screw up
Resigning from the Government was a big mistake, and his Lok Sabha results proved that. Not only he lost against PM Modi by a huge margin of 3.37 lakh in Varanasi but he lost all seats in Delhi as well. He understood that the risk, gamble he took was a failure, and he quickly changed his strategy.
When the Delhi elections came, he openly, publicly said sorry for the resignation and sought his fan’s blessings and prayers for winning the next one. Infact, AAP’s major slogan during the election was “5 Saal Kejriwal” or 5 Years for Kejriwal.
His diehard fans forgave him, and skeptics secretly admired his bold stand on this issue. After all, how many Indian politicians have said sorry after a goof up? His honest confession worked like a charm, and the results are infront of you.
Sticking to the Basics
Instead of introducing new promises and hopes, Arvind Kejriwal stuck to basic principles of his earlier campaigns, and held close to ground realities. Delhi citizens don’t want free WiFi and Smart Cities as of now, but they need protection for women, free water and cheap electricity. And it really worked.
Their campaigns and social media messages, besides content of speech and TV Interviews consistently hammered the same ideology: Women, Water and Electricity. And guess what, voters resonated with their views.
On one hand, other bigger political parties were promising heaven, they chose to make the existing land better. By relying on the basics of their poll agenda, the voters handed over their trust to them.
Using Technology Optimally
A volunteer team from IIM Bangalore analyzed millions of Tweets and Facebook posts related with Delhi elections, and based on the data churned out, they advised the core AAP team regarding their communication strategy. Although not a big deal in contemporary times, but they made better use of technology compared to other parties who were more or less concerned with broadcasting their messages far and wide.
Yes, AAP too had a dedicated IT cell for social media marketing, but they did it with intelligence and analysis. Although BJP used digital marketing and social media to the fullest during the last elections, it seems they somehow missed the boat this time during Delhi elections.
Avoiding negativity and embracing positive vibes
BJP’s underlying tone while campaigning for Delhi Elections was filled with negative vibes and taunts for the AAP party. Right from Union Ministers to CMs from other states were roped in to broadcast negative facts about AAP. They thought that voters can be influenced by informing why they shouldn’t vote for AAP, rather than why they should vote for them.
In today’s connected world, where information is present at the tip of button and connections are away from a tap on the mobile screen, such negative vibes wont make you friends with lots of people. Positivity always connects, and negativity breaks.
Not being overconfident
Overconfidence seems the biggest reason for BJP’s miserable defeat against a new, upcoming political party. They didn’t had a manifesto even 4 days before the elections, and they introduced their CM candidate only 10 days earlier. They mightily underestimated the equations of the Delhi political scene, and they relied on their Lok Sabha victory and the momentum.
They forgot the ground realities and completely ignored lower level political workers.
Their decision to induce Kiran Bedi, who was earlier with AAP as CM candidate infuriated several old timers in Delhi, and as per insider reports, several of them campaigned against her. Over confidence is a giant killer, and it spares no one. Especially in politics or business.
Do share your views on this sensational victory of a political startup in Delhi, by commenting right here.