State of the States

AAP’s East Delhi ‘war room’ gets ready for election battle

  • Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Apr 05, 2014 01:14 IST

Bundles of pamphlets lie strewn around with stacks of party caps with messages written in Urdu for company. In the middle of this chaos, 10 people, mostly youngsters, work away diligently on their laptops, seated inside call centre-like cubicles.

Welcome to E-59, the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) East Delhi constituency election office in Pandav Nagar. “We call it a mission office. Our mission is to ensure the victory of Rajmohan Gandhi," said Ravish Kanaujia (47), who when not helping out the party, works at a computer marketing firm in Gurgaon. 

“We shot a four-minute video on Rajmohanji’s life and credentials in the office and started showing it a couple of days ago. We also shot a 10-minute professional video and requested the Election Commission for permission to screen it,” he said.

“Six days to go,” reads a display board in the office, which some claim to be a war room. It has periodic projections of victory margins - one putting the margin at 75,000 votes - and donation collections. “These are not formal projections. These are more to motivate the volunteers,” Kanaujia added.

Another chart pasted on the walls shows which auto-rickshaw publicity team will cover which areas on which days. “We make weekly plans. We start with Rajmohanji’s morning walks. Two-three people from the party accompany him. He’s joined by local people as he goes along,” said another volunteer.

The office, earlier used by senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia, also plans his public meetings and road shows.

Traditionally, both Congress and the BJP have represented east Delhi parliamentary constituency till AAP came in and changed the equations in the assembly polls last year, winning 5 of the 10 assembly seats.

Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s son Sandeep Dikshit has won this constituency in the last two elections. While Dikshit is banking on “the works he has done”, BJP’s Mahesh Girri is playing the Modi card and banking on his Art of Living association.

 

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