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Capital Conquest: How the AAP's Incredible Victory Has Redefined Indian Elections

Saba Naqvi (Author)

In 2013, the Delhi electorate surprised everyone and voted the newly formed Aam Aadmi Party, led by ex-bureaucrat and social activist Arvind Kejriwal, into 28 seats out of 70. But following Kejriwal’s resignation from the post of Delhi’s chief minister just 49 days after he was sworn in, the AAP was dismissed as inexperienced, unorganized, and incapable of delivering on its promise. And after its dismal performance in the 2014 General Elections no one, not even the media, which had built up Kejriwal and the AAP in its early days, believed it had a second chance.

Until February 2015.

In winning 67 out of 70 seats in the 2015 Delhi assembly elections, the AAP and Kejriwal, demonstrated how a party that has radically challenged the norms of Indian politics can bounce back from defeat, trouncing all other contenders – including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party. The AAP campaign ticked all the right boxes with the promise of populism and a city-wide network of activists blurring the lines between volunteerism and political activism. In deliberately muting its attacks on the opposition and concentrating instead on the issues that mattered to the people, the once-written-off party rewrote the rules of the game.

In Capital Conquest, political journalist and commentator Saba Naqvi, who has closely followed the party since its inception, details the AAP’s ingenious election campaign, outlining the crucial factors that allowed it to win the favour of Delhi’s voters. Delving into little known instances of the party’s inner workings, she reveals how Kejriwal inspired the young volunteers who were at the heart of executing the campaign since the day the party was defeated in the 2014 General Elections and lends fresh insight into the convulsions that have led to the recent sidelining of the AAP’s founding members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from the party’s core.

A sharply observed analysis of what the first successful experiment in alternative politics means for traditional parties, Capital Conquest is the definitive book on the election that may well change the fundamentals of how politics is done in India.

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Bibliographic information

Title Capital Conquest: How the AAP's Incredible Victory Has Redefined Indian Elections
Author Saba Naqvi
Format Hardcover
Date published: 24.06.2015
Edition 1st. ed.
Publisher Hachette India
Language: English
isbn 9789350099964
length xi+202p., 21cm.