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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Delhi MCD polls: AAP sets up ‘war room’, app to track volunteer campaigns

Following the poll drubbing in Punjab, the MCD polls have come up as a new challenge for AAP. It has decided to focus all its resources into it

Written by Sweta Dutta | New Delhi | Updated: March 21, 2017 12:17:50 pm

Away from prying eyes at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) headquarters in ITO, a three-room quarter in central Delhi bustles with volunteer meetings, stock-taking and charting out strategies for the party’s upcoming poll battle in the municipal elections slated for April 22. The new war room, modelled on the AAP’s nerve centre in Chandigarh, has its plan minutely chalked out. Twenty one verticals have been formed to cover every aspect of the polls. The verticals include an exhaustive list such as star campaigners, expenditure, door-to-door campaign, social media, dissidence management, donations and funding, projector shows among others.

“Two teams steering planning and implementation have been working simultaneously. For all the 21 verticals, we have a team of volunteers implementing it on the ground and another team monitoring it. At the end of each day, reports sent by both the teams are matched to keep a check on our progress,” explained Saurabh Bhardwaj, AAP Delhi unit general secretary, who is heading the war room operations.

Following the poll drubbing in Punjab, the Delhi municipal polls have come up as a new challenge for AAP, that has decided to focus all its resources into it.

Grappling with dissent among volunteers, the AAP has formed a specific team to handle disaffected workers.

“Before any election, internal dissent is common. All volunteers on the ground expect a ticket. While there are possibly 10 deserving volunteers in each ward, there is just one ticket. So this time we have a team that identifies unhappy volunteers and then the district level leadership speaks to them. If the matter is not resolved, there is a second level of counselling by party leaders Ashutosh and Dilip Pandey. If that too does not work, the national leadership will get in touch with them,” said a senior party functionary.

Meanwhile, as the party’s door-to-door campaign and projector shows in each ward gather steam, a mobile application tracks volunteers steering the campaign on the ground.

“As of today, both these campaigns have no manual entries but all the data gets collated in a certain format on the app. As and when party volunteers reach out to each household, the voter’s contact and polling details are fed into the system. The monitoring committee can log in and see real-time feeds,” said Bhardwaj.

“There are 46 lakh households in Delhi, of which we are touching roughly around 18,000 a day. This campaign will further intensify in the coming days.”

In addition to the implementation teams, there are flying squads that cover around 35 wards a day to run checks on the veracity of the feedback from the ground.

As the war room with a round-the-clock schedule holds together the campaign, top party leaders have been poring over reports at 3 am, no longer resting on their laurels.

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