Aam Aadmi Party candidate Anita Pratap ran a campaign different from her rivals during the last two weeks.
While posters and larger-than-life flex boards of rival candidates dotted the constituency’s landscape, Ms. Pratap clad in saree and Gandhi cap drove in her vehicle, which she described as her sole campaigning asset, to all the places where the aam aadmi (commoner) faced problems in their everyday lives. There were no big ticket meetings or fiery speeches by star campaigners but direct interactions with people by the candidate flanked by ordinary party volunteers.
“My campaigning was with a cause and it identified with people’s issues. I tried to be part of their struggle,” Ms. Pratap said. She was stunned by the overwhelming people’s response despite being a rank outsider without any political background.
“In fact, my greatest asset was the absence of any political background. I was like a breath of fresh air for the people fed up with corruption and daily harassment,” she said. Ms. Pratap, however, was worried by the extent of public anger against political parties, especially the Congress.
“As an ordinary journalist, I have had the opportunity to view the public resentment from close quarters. But the campaigning helped me realise the full force of that anger against political class and ruling elite.”
If all that warmth turns into votes, she could romp home easily. But Ms. Pratap is practical enough to realise that it is not the case in the tough lands of politics. “Turning that groundswell of support into votes depends on poll booth management, which calls for men and money. AAP structure, which is actually just three months old in the State, has weaknesses in that regard compared to the rival fronts with entrenched organizational structure,” she said.
AAP, she said, was not into meaningless calculations of vote share it would secure in this election. After all, the vote share projections by parties prove wrong in 99 per cent of the cases when the actual results are out.