UP ELECTIONS 2017 – The 2014 general elections represent a watershed in the Indian electoral history in many ways. For one, it changed forever how campaigns are conducted in the country. The Lok Sabha poll campaign saw the then Gujarat chief minister, Narendra Modi, creating a parallel campaign machinery outside of the party to take his word to the people. His campaign to become the Prime Minister had, in fact, kicked off even before the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) named him its Prime Ministerial candidate.
Citizens for Accountable Governance (led by political strategist Prashant Kishor) helped Modi run a political campaign that could have given any MNC giant a run for its money. Through his 360-degree campaign, Modi reached out to disparate voters using their own communication mediums. What made it stand out was the campaign’s focus on modern technology – social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp were used extensively and effectively to create a cult following for Modi and turn the election into an almost Presidential campaign. The result: Narendra Modi seemed to be the only candidate around.
Lessons from this campaign have been learnt by other political parties as well – some more than the others. Later, similar ways were used in Delhi by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and in Bihar by Nitish Kumar, who built an unlikely alliance with his long-time bête noire Lalu Prasad, took his own message of good governance to the people, and returned to power with a landslide victory. READ MORE