New Delhi: The AAP in Gujarat is trying a different strategy in Gujarat to create a space between the two major national parties, Congress and the BJP. The strategic plan includes giving one guarantee to the public every week until the coming month. By giving a flurry of guarantees over a period of time, experts say, the AAP’s ground plan is to keep itself relevant and popular among the masses to combat the public’s short span of attention.
Moreover, the guarantees will be announced by AAP supremo Arwind Kejriwal, who will visit the coastal state every week. By Kejriwal announcing the guarantees himself, leaders in the party believe that it will make the guarantees more acceptable and penetrable. There are six such guarantees to be made of which two have already been announced—300 units of free electricity and tax relief to traders.
On Tuesday this week, in Rajkot, Arwind Kejriwal had a first of its kind dialogue with around 1,000 traders and promised them that ease of doing business and relief in tax payments will be ensured, if the AAP came to power. In addition, there will be more such events in more mega cities like Baroda, Ahmedabad and more. After the guarantees are over, the AAP will compile all the six guarantees and make a card. The party will subsequently go door-to-door holding the card and assert about the benefits they would get if the AAP came into power. “We will also make them understand the clean track record Arwind Kejriwal has had in politics,” an AAP leader said.
The party wants to make its guarantees, which it calls social security, a fulcrum of its campaigning. The party members hitting the ground will gradually increase toward the Assembly elections.
The AAP’s motivation comes from the assessment that there is anti-incumbency of 27 years against the BJP. According to political observers, the Congress is not so active; if the AAP comes to power, the people of Gujarat will have an option away from BJP and Congress. A Gujarat-based analyst said, “The AAP might be active on the ground and people are joining them after they have started giving guarantees. But it’s nothing like they will do any harm to BJP’s vote bank for now. However, they will eat into Congress’ vote bank for sure.”
Gopal Italiya, president of AAP unit in Gujarat, said, “People have been searching for a good option since many years, and they wanted to support that good option. Now that we are strengthening ourselves, we want to bring together everyone, every section of people. People don’t care who comes to power, what they see is who will work for the people.”
He further added, “Our announcement of guarantees is to show people that whatever Arvindji has said, that happens, no matter what, that is why these are guarantees and not a manifesto. In political spheres till now, there have been many manifestos and all other related things which come out before elections, but working for people does not happen. We will fight on all the 182 seats and if there is an understanding with any party, we will declare it.”