In an apparent attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday warned voters that a "wrong vote" can make their children "tea-seller, pakoda-seller or a chowkidar (watchman)" in the future.
All the three vocations Mr Sidhu listed are associated with PM Modi. He has said that he had worked as a tea-seller when he was growing up in Gujarat. He now calls himself the "chowkidar" or watchman of the country. In an interview, PM Modi had remarked that a person earning a livelihood selling 'pakodas' can be considered employed. The comment became a subject of numerous social media jokes and opposition's barbs.
"A wrong vote can make your children chaiwala, pakodewala or chowkidar. Better prevent and prepare, rather then repent and repair," Mr Sidhu tweeted today.
PM Modi last month launched his "Main Bhi Chowkidar" campaign and changed his Twitter title to "Chowkidar Narendra Modi". Union ministers, PM Modi's supporters and BJP leaders and workers followed suit as they prefixed "chowkidar" before their titles on social media.
Mr Sidhu, Congress's star campaigner, was last week barred from campaigning for 72 hours by the Election Commission for recent comment in which he warned Bihar's Muslim community against dividing its vote. "I will like to warn you Muslim brothers, they are dividing you by bringing people like Owaisi (AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi). They are raising a new party here, they want to divide and win," he had said in Katihar at a rally.
"If you people remain united, you have 65 per cent population here, here minority is majority, then everything will be overturned, it could lead to Modi's loss," he had added.
The poll body had "strongly condemned" his comment, barring him from holding public meetings, processions, rallies, road shows, interviews, and from making any public comment.
Mr Sidhu recently skipped work for nearly 20 days and remained incommunicado to make his displeasure known after his wife Navjot Kaur was denied ticket to the constituency of her choice - Chandigarh. He, however, started campaigning for the party later.