Main Bhi Chowkidar: The video shared by PM, features a song with lyrics showcasing centre's initiatives
- Scores of senior BJP leaders took to Twitter to endorse the campaign
- "Everyone working hard for the progress of India is a Chowkidar": PM Modi
- Congress' Twitter handle responded with the hashtag #IndiaBewakoofNahiHai
The BJP's "Main Bhi Chowkidar" campaign became Twitter's top worldwide trend today, hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched it this morning. #MainBhiChowkidaar trended on Twitter after the Prime Minister released a video on social media, saying "Your Chowkidar is standing firm and serving the nation". The video shared by PM Modi, featuring a song with lyrics showcasing the Modi government's initiatives, racked up more than 50,000 likes and 19,000 retweets on the micro-blogging website. "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 the tweet.
The video ends with the appeal to people to join PM Modi's "Main Bhi Chowkidar" programme on March 31.
The campaign comes after Congress President Rahul Gandhi raised his pitch against the Modi government with frequent attacks and criticism over the Rafale deal, through the slogan "Chowkidar Chor Hai (watchman is a thief)".
Scores of senior BJP leaders took to Twitter to endorse the campaign with vigour by posting the video and a message saying, "I am proud to join #MainBhiChowkidar movement. As a citizen who loves India, I shall do my best to defeat corruption, dirt, poverty & terrorism and help create a New India which is strong, secure & prosperous."
Union Minister Smriti Irani also tweeted a rhyme in Hindi and hit out at the opposition, saying "They'll point fingers at you, keep repeating lies. But we know what the truth is, how will they instigate us?"
The opposition reacted equally strongly and attempted to break the trend by hitting out at the BJP campaign with its own hashtag.
The Congress's official Twitter handle tweeted with the hashtags #IndiaBewakoofNahiHai (India isn't stupid) and #SuitBootKaChowkidaar (Chowkidar only for businessmen) saying "Everybody knows India is not stupid, you are the one & only Chowkidar only for businessmen".
Congress President Rahul Gandhi also tweeted, saying "Defensive tweet Mr Modi! You feeling a little guilty today?" and shared an image of the Prime Minister with Anil Ambani, Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya and others.
Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah also hit out at PM Modi and the BJP in a tweet which said, "This disease is spreading to all the small thieves of our country who are trending #MainBhiChowkidar," adding for good measure, "Wise people say, 'The big thieves hang the little ones.'"
Congress's social media in-charge Divya Spandana also reacted to the BJP campaign.
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.