- Rahul Gandhi uses the slogan to attack PM Modi on Rafale deal
- Draws from PM Modi's description of himself as "chowkidar" (watchman)
- Uddhav Thackeray used the phrase to stress how "days have changed"
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday borrowed another jibe from Congress chief Rahul Gandhi to target the BJP. "Chowkidaar chor hai', he said at a rally in Maharashtra's Pandharpur, reported Press Trust of India.
The context, though, was different from the Rafale fighter jet deal, on which most of the Congress attacks are focused.
Recalling an anecdote of one of his tours across the state, Mr Thackeray said he once met a farmer who showed him a pest-infested lime tree.
"The lime tree is used to make pesticides... The farmer told me that for the first time in his lifetime, he had seen a lime tree getting infested... I had told him that now, days have changed. Security persons have become thieves," he was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.
"Halli paharekarich chorya karaylaa laagale aahet. (Today, security persons have themselves become thieves)," he then added in Marathi, PTI reported.
Mr Thackeray also referred to the Rafale issue, saying, "There have been several allegations over the Rafale fighter jet deal and I do not know how the Supreme Court has given a clean chit. But I know the Modi government has refused pay hike for jawans."
The Shiv Sena has for long been the in-house critic of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government's policies. The cantankerous ally even passed a unanimous resolution in January that it would not partner the BJP in next year's general elections or the state assembly elections.
After the BJP's setback in the recent round of assembly elections, the Sena had congratulated the voters in the heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, saying they have made a "brave decision".
(With inputs from PTI)
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