Delhi-bound trains to Metro: Aam Aadmi Party takes rail route to woo voters

New Delhi: Political parties advertising in Delhi Metro prior to assembly elections may be old hat, but the Aam Aadmi Party volunteers have taken it to a whole new level this time. Other than their extensive door-to-door campaign, the party workers have also started boarding metro trains in groups and shouting slogans like ‘panch saal Kejriwal’.

In addition to that, the volunteers from different states heading towards Delhi in trains to assist the party in the assembly elections have also been instructed to influence train passengers, most of whom are expected to cast their votes.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

"It is an innovative style of campaign but one that will show results," an AAP volunteer, who recently came to Delhi from Mumbai in the Dehradun Express, told Firstpost. "Not only did we shout slogans and wore our signature Gandhian caps, but we also discussed and debated existing issues that Delhiites have been troubled with," he added.

According to the volunteer, this new style of campaign is being carried out in all trains coming to Delhi which has AAP volunteers travelling in them. And it’s not only confined to discussions, the volunteers are also helping passengers with their luggage when their station arrives, getting food and water for the elderly passengers.

The idea is simple: to assist them, woo them and convince them by the end of their journey and ensure that they vote for AAP. The volunteers are also noting down the names and address of those passengers who they feel are likely to vote for AAP. "The volunteer will give a reminder call before the election day to the passenger that he/she had a conversation with in the train," the AAP volunteer added.

The focus is primarily on sleeper class and general compartment passengers. "These people are the most likely to vote and are also larger in number. For this purpose, the party has advised all state volunteers coming to Delhi to book sleeper class tickets, so we can connect better with the regular janta," the AAP volunteer revealed.

Meanwhile, the strategy is the same for Delhi’s Metro trains. A team of 300 AAP volunteers have been dedicated to woo voters commuting in the Delhi Metro. They raise slogans and strike discussions inside trains and get opinions of the commuters on issues like water scarcity, load shedding, price rise, women safety, sanitation and more.

Most of these are AAP volunteers from Mumbai and Bangalore. The goal is to strike a conversation with commuters, understand their worries and appreciate their opinion, whether it is in favour of AAP or any other party. The next task is to highlight the work done by AAP during their 49-day rule and answer any queries that people may ask about the party.

"Every volunteer is given an orientation class before they are sent in the field to campaign," Durgesh Pathak, an AAP member, said. "They are well-read about the achievements and are well-equipped to answer queries or debate on issues," he added.

Using the Delhi Metro for creating a buzz is not a new thing for the AAP. The party had also put up blank hoardings on outside station walls during their signature campaign wherein they were rooting to dissolve the Delhi Assembly and conduct fresh elections, five months ago.

To intensify their campaign, the party’s student wing, Chhatra Yuva Sanghrash Samiti has also stepped up their campaign outside metro stations. A total of seven teams, consisting between 20-30 volunteers, have been deputed to campaign outside 23 metro stations in Delhi.

CYSS volunteers are mainly campaigning outside busy stations like Central Secretariat, Rajiv Chowk, Kashmere Gate, Karol Bagh , Shahdara, Hauz Khas, Karol Bagh, Dilshad Garden, Uttam Nagar among others.
The poster campaign in metro stations too is in full flow. While, during the 2013 assembly elections, it was the Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government which utilised the advertisement space inside metro trains, but this time it is a split between the Aam Aadmi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Both parties have been allotted a total of 30 trains, because the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation can only allot 15 per cent of the advertisement space inside trains to political parties.

Published Date: Jan 24, 2015 09:52 am | Updated Date: Jan 24, 2015 09:52 am

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