Thursday, May 1, 2014

AAP's Varanasi campaign gives rivals run for their money

The Aam Aadmi Party had redefined the political campaign with its 'personal touch' in the December 2013 assembly elections in Delhi. The rookies are now hoping to repeat the feat here with Delhi's 'giant slayer' Arvind Kejriwal holding the party's flag against BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

The AAP campaign is far ahead of its rivals, if numbers of approvals sought for political meetings are any indication. Of the 498 applications for organising political meetings received by the district election office till April 30, 201 approvals have been given to the AAP. The BJP is way behind with only 139 applications. The Congress has sought permission for only 53 election-related activities.    
Hundreds of AAP volunteers from all across the country have arrived in Varanasi, as the party has planned to cover every nook and cranny of the constituency. The AAP volunteers are campaigning in both rural and urban areas of the city with special focus on street corner meetings and chaupals in rural belts.
To counter the blitzkrieg of BJP heavyweights canvassing support for Modi, AAP is relying on door-to-door campaigning to meet the local voters personally. Kumar Vishwas, AAP's star campaigner and the party candidate from Amethi, will arrive in Varanasi after polling in his parliamentary constituency on March 7. Senior AAP leader Yogendra Yadav, who is contesting from Gurgaon, is also expected to campaign for Kejriwal in Varanasi.
The party, which formed a 49-day government in Delhi, has almost elbowed out the two major regional players – the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. SP candidate, Kailash Chaurashia, has sought permission for only 34 political activities and the BSP candidate Vijay Prakash Jaiswal for only 13 meetings. Kejriwal had defeated Delhi's former three-time CM Sheila Dikshit by a margin of over 25,000 votes and led his party to a spectacular debut in the Delhi Assembly polls with the AAP winning 28 seats.