Ah Delhi. Many a conqueror has tried to rule this symbol of power in India. In the latest such battle, the Aam Admi Party has completely demolished the BJP, winning 67 seats out of 70. So what has happened? Has the Narendra Modi aura faded? Are people indifferent to the fact that the AAP government lasted only 49 days? Is Kiran Bedi the most admired woman police officer in independent history?
What’s the answer?
Let’s take a look at 3 PR reasons AAP won in Delhi.
Apology, Apology, Apology
Arvind Kejriwal acted straight out of a crisis handbook. He did something that CEO’s are advised to do during a crisis, but seldom do. Kejriwal knew that the biggest black mark against him was the fact that he was seen as running away from the hard work of actual governance when he and his government resigned over the Lok Pal Bill.
Kejriwal tackled this issue upfront, apologised, admitted that voters were upset with him and asked for a chance to do better. And he has been doing this for several months, not just in the campaigning phase.
Textbook crisis PR management. And it worked.
It’s the suit that didn’t have it!
The BJP playbook went something like. On the heels of a hugely successful Barak Obama, where Modi pressed flesh, called Obama by his first name and pulled off the stalled nuclear deal, the icing on the cake would be a successful win at the Delhi polls. And with strong wins in state election in the last 4 months, he had reason to think that he had bucked the conventional political wisdom that India votes differently at the national and state level.
Till he wore ‘THE SUIT’. Yes, the one that had Narendra Damodardas Modi woven all over it. This one act possibly tipped many over to the AAP side at the Delhi polls. A communications veteran at a recent meeting said that Delhi citizens like autocrats. Indeed they do, but not narcissists. The image did not fly well in the face of the simply dressed, muffler clad Kejriwal. Modi had clearly forgotten the lesson voters taught an arrogant Indira Gandhi post the emergency. He was also not helped by the criticism by Obama on the treatment of religious minorities in India.
Source: India Today
The famous suit!
Yo Kiran Bedi so proper!
Few generals and I dare say not one police officer have been successful as democratic leaders. With the possible exception of Washington, Eisenhower and Ulysses Grant. Bedi, though a well-known former police officer and former Arvind associate, clearly had no connect at all with the voters. Marching strongly with soldierly precision, she rubbed her fellow BJP workers the wrong way with her campaign coordinator temporarily quitting due to what he said was her “dictatorial attitude”. All this harmed the BJP campaign. And this was so clear when the final results were announced today – she said that the BJP was responsible for the loss not her and she also thanked the BJP for not charging her any money for being their candidate!
Incidentally she hasn’t won her seat either!