Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to add “chowkidar” (watchman) to his Twitter handle. She said a farmer had told her that only the rich have a security guard or watchman.
Modi launched the “Main Bhi Chowkidar”, or “I am also the watchman”, campaign on Saturday. The prime minister has repeatedly referred to himself as the country’s chowkidar. Modi and several leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, including Smriti Irani, Piyush Goyal and Ravi Shankar Prasad, also added “chowkidar” to their Twitter handles.
Vadra was in Prayagraj to kick off the Congress’ campaign for the upcoming General Elections in the state. When reporters asked her to comment on chowkidar used by the BJP and Modi, she said, “It is their choice what they want to add to their name. When I met potato farmers in western UP, one of them told me, ‘the rich have chowkidar, the farmers are their own chowkidar’.”
Addressing a gathering Prayagraj, Vadra accused the Centre of not fulfilling its promises and destroying the institutions. “They want to control everything...they think they can mislead the people,” she said. “A country cannot run like this...I was sitting at home for long...but I have now stepped out as the country is in crisis.”
She urged the people to vote to elect a responsible government in the elections. “It is your country, you have a responsibility towards it.”
She said the Congress governments in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan had waived farm loans within 10 days of taking over.
Earlier on Monday, Vadra accused the government of focusing on industrialists. “The government has turned deaf to the sufferings of the people and anyone who dares to raise their voice is being threatened,” she said, according to the Hindustan Times. “During the last 45 years, the past five years have witnessed minimum employment and the workers have failed to even get their dues during the past six months.”
The “Main Bhi Chowkidar” campaign is seen as a starter to the BJP’s campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP in a statement had said the campaign was launched after extensive surveys and data analysis by party strategists. The party claimed strategists feel that Gandhi’s “chowkidar chor hai” remark was not resonating with people.