NEW DELHI: Giving a new spin to Rahul Gandhi’s favourite jibe, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the BJP’s “Main bhi chowkidar (I am a watchman too)” campaign on Saturday. There is a perception within the party that the Congress president’s “Chowkidar chor hai (The watchman is a thief)” remark has not gone down well with the people. The BJP now wants to capitalise on it with its new slogan and forge a connect with the common man.
A similar strategy was successfully implemented by the BJP ahead of the 2014 general elections, where the party used senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s derogatory chaiwala reference to launch the Chai pe Charcha mass campaign. This time, the campaign has come amid Rahul’s repeated attacks on PM
Modi and his government over the Rafale jet deal.
The word chowkidar was widely used during the 2014 campaign when Modi had promised to work as a watchman to guard people’s money. The prime minister has now tweeted, “Your Chowkidar is standing firm and serving the nation. But I am not alone. Everyone who is fighting corruption, dirt, social evils is a Chowkidar.” Along with the tweet, Modi released a video that ends with an appeal to people to join the PM’s Main Bhi Chowkidar programme on March 31. In 2014, the BJP’s slogan Achhe din aane wale hain (Good days are about to come) became an instant hit.
Rahul responded with a tweet, saying “Defensive tweet Mr Modi! You feeling a little guilty today?” and shared a cartoon of the prime minister with Anil Ambani, Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya and others.