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Continuing with its innovative means of campaigning, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday started a new calling campaign in Amethi and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

Using the model of crowd sourcing, AAP is focusing on converting supporters into election campaigners—encashing on the traditional means of word of mouth.

The party has provided two helpline numbers—180030009388 for Amethi and 180030101223 for Varanasi—where supporters can call a toll-free number. Once a call is connected, the caller would be automatically connected by the server to a voter in either of the two constituencies. The caller can then tell the voter on the other line about why he or she should vote for the 18-month old party.

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal is challenging the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. AAP leader Kumar Vishwas is pitted against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in the Congress bastion of Amethi.

“We have transferred the onus of these two candidates to the people of India. It’s an idea of crowd-sourcing where people can talk to each other...the idea is to create maximum support base," said Nadan Misra, an AAP volunteer who is working on this campaign.

The party had tried something similar during the Delhi elections, when the party was able to connect to voters in Delhi. According to Misra, the original idea was of Kejriwal himself.

However, the big question is, how does the party prevent misuse? To be precise, how would this campaign ensure that the caller is a genuine supporter or not?

To this, Misra explained that the database of callers is randomly assorted with trackers. If a repeated call goes to one of the trackers in the list, and is found to be misusing, the number would be automatically blocked. “We have proper vigilance set up in the place by randomly routing a call to a tracker number," he said.

“People from across the country can call and tell voters (in these two constituencies) about why Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi should be defeated...through this campaign the common man will speak to the common man," a release by the party on Sunday said.

The party has a massive database in place—a list of 500,000 numbers in Amethi and 400,000 in Varanasi—through its door-to-door campaign. The party has diverted its energies to these two constituencies hoping to make it an electoral battle against the very representatives of two biggest political parties in India.

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