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Business News/ Politics / News/  Grassroots focus, cinematic posters: How I-PAC powers Jagan Mohan Reddy's poll campaign in movie-loving Andhra— 5 points
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Grassroots focus, cinematic posters: How I-PAC powers Jagan Mohan Reddy's poll campaign in movie-loving Andhra— 5 points

I-PAC's core strength and focus lie in its ability to work at the grassroots, analyse public pulse, and grasp intricate political nuances, according to Rishi Raj Singh, Co-founder and Director of the political consulting firm.

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is assisted by a dedicated team of 600 members closely working with him and the YSR Congress Party since the beginning of the last quarter of 2022.Premium
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is assisted by a dedicated team of 600 members closely working with him and the YSR Congress Party since the beginning of the last quarter of 2022.

On April 13, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy was injured after stones were pelted during his election campaign in Vijayawada.

Fifty-one-year-old Jagan Reddy suffered a minor cut on his temple above the eye during his popular Memantha Siddham’ bus yatra in the run-up to elections. After taking a day’s rest, Reddy, with a piece of bandage covering his injury, resumed the yatra on its 15th day from Kesarapalli on April 15.

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Andhra Pradesh is going to assembly polls simultaneously with Lok Sabha Elections 2024. Elections to 175 assembly seats and 25 Lok Sabha seats will be held in the fourth phase of the general elections 2024 on May 13. In 2019, Jagan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party swept the assembly polls by bagging 151 seats. The party also won 22 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2019 general elections.

 

Like in the previous election, Jagan Mohan Reddy’s campaign in Andhra Pradesh is driven by Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC).
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Like in the previous election, Jagan Mohan Reddy’s campaign in Andhra Pradesh is driven by Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC).

Like in the previous election, Jagan Reddy’s campaign in Andhra Pradesh is once again powered by Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), the political consulting firm, once officially headed by Prashant Kishor.

Let’s take a look at how the chief minister is campaigning in his re-election bid.

Dedicated Army

The Andhra Pradesh chief minister is assisted by a dedicated team of 600 members closely working with him and the YSR Congress Party since the beginning of the last quarter of 2022. Apart from its central office in Vijayawada, I-PAC has established offices in each district and assembly constituency to ensure a robust presence in the state.

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi prays for 'speedy recovery' of Andhra Pradesh CM Jaganmohan Reddy after stone-pelting incident

For the past two years, I-PAC has been instrumental in strategising campaigns for the YSR Congress government including ‘Gadapa-Gadapaku Mana Prabhutvam’ meaning ‘our governance at your doorstep’, ‘JaganAnna Suraksha’ meaning Jagan Anna protection and political campaigns like ‘Jagananne Maa Bhavishyatu’, meaning ‘JaganAnna, my future is you’ ‘Memantha Siddham’ meaning ‘we all are ready’, and ‘Memu Siddham, Maa Booth Siddham’ which means, ‘we and our booth are ready.’

Grassroots Approach

Kishor, along with a group of like-minded professionals, started Citizens for Accountable Governance (CAG), a non-profit, to help improve electoral outcomes in 2013. Two years later, CAG was renamed I-PAC. Kishor, who is leading the Jan Suraj campaign in Bihar, has announced that he has quit I-PAC. But I-PAC is credited with changing the nature of election campaigning in India since it came into being in 2015.

An in-depth understanding helps carve out strategies which have a real political impact.” Rishi Raj Singh, Co-founder and Director, I-PAC told LiveMint.
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An in-depth understanding helps carve out strategies which have a real political impact.” Rishi Raj Singh, Co-founder and Director, I-PAC told LiveMint.

Many perceive I-PAC's role to largely revolve around social media, branding and marketing. But in reality, I-PAC's core strength and focus lie in its ability to work at the grassroots, analyse public pulse, and grasp intricate political nuances. This in-depth understanding helps carve out strategies which have a real political impact." Rishi Raj Singh, Co-founder and Director, I-PAC told LiveMint.

Also Read:PM Modi, BJP not invincible but…: Prashant Kishor says Opposition missed ‘three distinct chances’ to stop saffron party

“Granular knowledge of the political terrain developed over a period of time forms the bedrock for devising strategies. The execution becomes seamless as it is done in direct collaboration with the chief minister and the top party leadership," he said.

In addition to coordinating routine activities, I-PAC strives to expand the YSR Congress party’s support base with a new network of volunteers and influencers. The team also works on real-time campaign feedback, impact assessment and public sentiment around the work of the party leaders.

'Siddham — we are ready'

‘Siddham’ or ‘ready’ refers to a series of meetings held with a focus on winning every booth laid down for every cadre member of the YSR Congress party. Branding, slogans and cinematic posters are highlights of the campaign.

The ‘Siddham’ poster, for example, has a cinematic design specifically targeted to attract people from movie-loving Andhra Pradesh. In the poster, Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy with a folded fist is shown as action-oriented and on the offensive.

‘Memantha Siddham' is the flagship bus yatra taken up by the chief minister on the same route as his 2017-2019 march on foot.
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‘Memantha Siddham' is the flagship bus yatra taken up by the chief minister on the same route as his 2017-2019 march on foot.

Also, cinematic visuals, synchronised with a campaign song ‘Maa Namakkam Nuvve Jagan’ (Jagan is our belief) is an example of using audio-visual messaging used by I-PAC in Andhra Pradesh. Another feature that stood out in the meetings was the usage of a unique ramp to make Jagan Reddy more accessible to his cadre, fans and supporters.

‘Memantha Siddham'

Be it a catchphrase like ‘Tagedalle’ from Allu Arjun-starrer ‘Pushpa’ movie or famous Telugu idioms, CM Jagan’s speeches have been drawing huge crowds in his rallies.

Also Read: After Sri Lankan island row, BJP leader claims Jawaharlal Nehru 'gifted' Andamans' Coco Islands to Myanmar

‘Memantha Siddham' is the flagship bus yatra taken up by the chief minister on the same route as his 2017-2019 march on foot. In this yatra, CM Jagan spends one day in a district.

Booth-level training

Jagan Mohan Reddy's campaign also includes a booth-level strategy called ‘Memu Siddham, Maa Booth Siddham’. In this campaign, a trained booth-level army, comprising 20 ‘Gruha Sarathis’ or volunteers and four committee members per booth have been set up on each of the 50,000 booths of the state.

Clearly, I-PAC helped YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to come to power in Andhra Pradesh in the last elections. But will the campaign work for him in the upcoming assembly and Lok Sabha elections? We will know only on June 4.

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Published: 15 Apr 2024, 04:24 PM IST
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