'Muffler Man' no longer laughing matter as AAP gets a fund boost

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New Delhi, Nov 30: It may have been ridiculed by many, but the 'Muffler Man' campaign on social media by Aam Aadmi Party volunteers has the party laughing all the way to the bank as it sees a "rise" in donations ahead of Delhi assembly election.

The campaign, inspired by AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal who was often seen with a muffler during campaigning last year and while he was the Delhi Chief Minister for 49 days, took the social media by storm and has been trending on Twitter for the past eleven days.

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal

While Kejriwal's "common man" attire became his trademark, he also faced some ridicule. Party sources said the AAP leader is prone to throat infection during the winter, which is why he prefers to guard his ears and neck with the muffler.

AAP spokesperson Atishi Marlena said the party did not undertake this campaign but some of the volunteers started it. Party workers said the idea of Muffler Man initially came from a volunteer in Mumbai. "The response for this from our volunteers was so encouraging that it instantly became a hit. Then a volunteer from London made pictures which further made the campaign famous. "Volunteers across the globe started tweeting about this for the first three days after which it started trending," said a party vounteer. "#Mufflerman is trending in top three since last 11 days.

The word Muffler Man was used 3 lakh times on Twitter in three days. The purpose is to take the campaign to the people and we are succeeding in it," the volunteer said.

In another video campaign on women safety that has become viral on social media, three eve-teasers are waiting at the bus stop, while a girl arrives there. She is scared and stays away, but the boys tell her that she is safe. The campaign ends with one of the boys saying, "There is no place for people like us because Muffler man is coming to Delhi this winter."

The video has been reportedly made by party volunteers. Another poster based on Hollywood movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which has gone viral on Twitter, says, "Fear is Near… After 49 days of Glory, he is coming back to hunt corruption from every street of Delhi…The Muffler Man Return, the Corruption Hunter."

With the idea catching imagination of people, the party is working to use the "Muffler Man" image to strengthen its base. It has, however, clarified that the campaign on them social media has nothing to do with the party.

"The party did not undertake this campaign. It was some of our volunteers who started the campaign and was instantly like by people," said party spokesperson Atishi Marlena.

The party has also seen a surge in donations. "After donating money, people are leaving messages that they were giving money to the muffler man and his clean politics," said Arvind Jha from the fund raising team of the party. Since November 1, the party has collected over Rs 1 crore across the globe.

PTI 

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