Published on December 7th, 20130
What set the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) apart was their fresh approach to campaigning, which the Congress and BJP lacked.
by Humra Quraishi
From Gurgaon I have been travelling to New Delhi on almost all the days of this last week, and on my travels and at my destination, I have been watching and observing the election build up in the national capital. As expected, in the so-called ‘strongholds’ of the Congress and the BJP camps, the mood has been nothing but typical.
When I say ‘typical’, I speak from the experience of past elections, when one saw the same mood and campaigning tactics as those employed in recent times. There have been the same hackneyed slogans and shouting matches between opponents. The same mud-slinging. The same one-liners and cheap shots. Yes, there have been a couple of new inputs concerning Mr Modi, but there has been nothing novel or exciting about the two parties’ campaigning. Which is why the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came as a breath of fresh air.
I was actually taken aback on seeing the enthusiasm amongst the AAP volunteers and workers, who did not look like they had been ‘bought over’ or ‘paid’ to do their jobs. They looked sincere in their efforts, making it quite obvious that they were out on the streets to campaign because they genuinely wanted to bring about a change in governance at the grassroots level. With brooms in their hands and topis on their heads, they were seen interacting with all people, establishing an instant connect.
Interestingly, while so many of the AAP volunteers walked the streets and campaigned, there was never any need for any police bandobast. I was rather touched on seeing these AAP men and women mingling with the crowds and getting a very positive response from the public. There was also a lot of cheering as the party’s topis were placed on each head. I also received one such topi!
There is no saying what the influence of AAP will be on the future course of politics, but if ever an indication was needed for those currently in power that the country is desperately looking for a change in leadership, the welcome AAP received in Delhi should sound a loud warning bell to all.
Humra Quraishi is a senior political journalist based in Gurgaon. She is the author of Kashmir: The Untold Story and co-author of Simply Khushwant.
(Picture courtesy www.livemint.com)