"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." – Margaret Mead

That’s how Atishi Marlena introduces herself on Twitter. Given the stunning Delhi poll results, we would be seeing a lot more of the Oxford-educated Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson in the months to come. In case you were wondering, Marlena is a surname derived by her parents from Marx and Lenin. (True to the nomenclature, Marlena is part of the core team that is driving a mini revolution in politics and how elections are fought in India)

While one doesn't know if Arvind Kejriwal will be able to change the world – or Delhi for that matter – but he and his small group of men have provided hope to those who worry about money power. AAP’s campaign was fought on a virtual shoestring budget of less than Rs 20 crore, a fraction of the money BJP spent on its print ads alone. (Consider this: the BJP spent approximately Rs 5 crore on just one day before the election.)

Politics should always be affordable and accessible to all, but it never has been the case.  AAP's victory has just made that theoretical construct a viable reality.

Here's how AAP beat the deep pockets of the BJP and how other parties fighting the Modi wave could learn from it.

1. Personal campaigning
Perhaps the single biggest reason for the success of AAP, which also kept the costs down as they campaigned at the colony level. “We could wrap up a Jan Sabha for fifteen thousand rupees,” said AAP leader Raghav Chadha: “With each Sabha we touched up to 10,000 people and we did hundreds of them. Massive rallies like those the BJP organized can cost a crore plus. We kept the cost low and people connected with AAP at a personal level”

2. Being accessible
Unlike the BJP leadership that drove the campaign from "war rooms", Arvind Kejriwal and the entire AAP leadership was on the ground for months, amidst people, easily accessible, approachable and accountable by being ready with answers to questions posed by people. What the party didn’t have in financial resources, it made up by spending time talking to and interacting with people. Finally that paid richer dividends.

3. Media management
Whoever manages the media the best stands to gain at the hustings. BJP seemed to have forgotten that basic axiom. AAP, aware that it did not have a cadre base (nor the money) used media extensively and managed to stay in the news – subjecting themselves to being grilled by hostile anchors, even being ridiculed. BJP spokespersons came across as arrogant and over-bearing while AAP ensured that they remained calm. In the end, Kejriwal came across as more humane, compared to, say, an Amit Shah, watching whom on TV was like watching The Godfather.

4. Better 'cool quotient'
AAP roped in young voters through a dedicated social media strategy. A bright team that kept the buzz alive and #trending around Kejriwal. They tried out  innovative viral campaigns that included taking risks like propagating the image of ‘Mufflerman’. There was a sizable chunk of youngsters amongst the 67% record turnout. AAP seems to have hit bull’s-eye there, at virtually no cost.

5. Innovative funding
When big business is not supporting you, funds are a critical question. AAP fell short of its targeted collection for Delhi elections, but still managed to pull through with money being collected through innovative means like small online donations and campaign lunches with Arvind Kejriwal.  They proved that campaigns can be ‘crowd funded’ too.

6. Being thrifty
AAP had limited resources but used them wisely. Volunteers were roped in large numbers, even those in other cities were asked to call into Delhi and convince people to vote for AAP. Outdoor hoardings were carefully chosen at strategic points only, while BJP pumped in tons of money into expensive ads. AAP depended on slickly produced radio commercials and catchy jingles of "Paanch Saal Kejriwal" to be top of the mind.

While what the BJP did in the last Lok Sabha elections in terms of resources and planning was commendable, the AAP has shown that  assembly elections are a totally different ballgame and money is not a primary factor. Given a strong local leader and careful planning, even the deepest pocket and thickest muscle can be brought to naught.

Whether or not such an approach can work at the national level will only be tested in the next Lok Sabha elections, but there are clear lessons for various states that head in to polls in the meanwhile: AAP’s ‘affordable campaign’ strategy is free to try.

Akash Banerjee is a broadcast professional and Author of ‘Tales from Shining and Sinking India’