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Politics & government
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 blurred the lines between volunteerism and political activism. In deliberately muting its attacks on the opposition while 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 favor 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.
About the Author
Saba Naqvi is the political editor of Outlook, one of India's leading news magazines. She is among the most respected reporters and commentators on Indian politics, identity issues and current affairs. She has traveled extensively around India and covered elections particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and Delhi. Her first book in Good Faith was published in 2012. This is her second book. She lives in Delhi.