- Campaign comes amid Rahul Gandhi's attacks on PM over the Rafale jet deal
- PM Modi also released a video titled "Main Bhi Chowkidar" on Twitter
- Lyrics of the video mention flagship schemes launched by BJP government
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched his party's "Main Bhi Chowkidar (I am a watchman too)" campaign ahead of the national election that begins next month. The PM released a video with the same title on Twitter and said, "Your Chowkidar is standing firm and serving the nation". The campaign comes amid Congress president Rahul Gandhi's repeated attacks on PM Modi and his government over the Rafale jet deal, with the slogan, "Chowkidar Chor Hai (watchman is a thief)".
"But, I am not alone. Everyone who is fighting corruption, dirt, social evils is a Chowkidar. Everyone working hard for the progress of India is a Chowkidar," PM Modi said in a tweet that also had the video attached.
The lyrics of the video touch upon many of the flagship schemes launched by the Modi government, including Mudra Yojana, Ujjwala Yojana and the Clean India initiative.
The video ends with the appeal to people to join PM Modi's "Main Bhi Chowkidar" programme on March 31.
Your Chowkidar is standing firm & serving the nation.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 16, 2019
But, I am not alone.
Everyone who is fighting corruption, dirt, social evils is a Chowkidar.
Everyone working hard for the progress of India is a Chowkidar.
Today, every Indian is saying-#MainBhiChowkidar
The use of the word "chowkidar" dates back to the poll campaigning ahead of the 2014 general elections when Mr Modi had promised to work as a "chowkidar" to guard people's money and their trust once elected to the top office.
Mr Gandhi has alleged that PM Modi tweaked the Rafale jet contract to unduly benefit industrialist Anil Ambani.
"Five years ago, chowkidar said he wanted to fight corruption. He said he wanted to make it a 'Congress-mukt Bharat'. Today, the slogan of 'Acche Din Aayenge' has changed to 'Chowkidar chor hai'," Mr Gandhi said at a recent rally.
PM Modi has been returning Mr Gandhi's barbs. He said in a January rally that a "chor" or thief always wants to remove "chowkidar" from his way, in an apparent retort to Mr Gandhi.
Sources in the BJP say the party has found in its surveys that Rahul Gandhi's 'Chowkidar Chor Hai' barb has not gone down well with the public. The BJP now wants to capitalize on it by involving the common man. A similar strategy was adopted by the BJP ahead of the 2014 general elections, wherein the party turned around senior Congress leader Manishankar Aiyar's "chaiwalla" jibe into a mass campaign.
In 2014, BJP's election anthem "Ache Din Aane Wale Hain (Good days are about to come)" had become an instant hit. The party got a clear majority after the polls.
The national elections, to be held in seven phases, will begin April 11. Results will be declared on May 23.
With inputs from ANI