How Captain Amarinder Singh Won Punjab: Here’s the Inside Story

Ahead of the winters, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal organised a big rally in the Malwa region of Punjab. This announced the start of the election fever in the state. Although there was an anti-incumbency wave against the ruling Akali-BJP government, political analysts predicted a victory for the AAP pointing to an internal strife in the Congress.

However, with the help of strategist Prashant Kishor, the Punjab Congress laid down its approach and turned around Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s image within a year. Let us tell you the hidden aspects of Punjab Congress and Prashant Kishor’s Indian Political Action Committee’s (I-PAC’s) strategy, thanks to which the party finally won power in Punjab.

Captain’s Congress

In March 2016, i.e a year before the Punjab Assembly elections, Captain Amarinder Singh’s newly formed campaign team immediately coined a slogan – “Punjab da Captain”. Since then, the Congress’ entire campaign was centred around this slogan. The party also started working behind the scenes to fix Captain Amarinder’s ‘Maharaja’ image.

Five steps of the campaign:

  1. Brand Captain – Taking the “Punjab da Captain” slogan door-to-door, at least twice a day.
  2. Becoming a strong force among the youth.
  3. Uniting the scattered Punjab Congress.
  4. Giving the AAP a taste of its own medicine by using volunteers.
  5. Well-thought out political strategies – involving Navjot Singh Sidhu in the party; having Captain contest from Lambi, the same seat as former CM Parkash Singh Badal; announcing Captain’s candidature for CM; and Rahul Gandhi’s role in mediating internal conflicts during ticket distribution.

Coffee With Captain

Focus Keywords: Brand Captain, Youth, Volunteer, Access

Under ‘Coffee with Captain’, or Captain’s meetings with the people of Punjab, he would answer people’s questions and guage their views on all issues of the state. The team took care to ensure that personal problems of individuals were not left out in the crowd.

‘Halke Vich Captain’

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