Congress insulting 'Chowkidars': PM

Congress insulting 'Chowkidars': PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the BJP Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, at BJP headquarters in New Delhi, Wednesday, March 20, 2019. PTI

With the Congress attacking him over his "main bhi chowkidar" campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday reached out to "watchmen" across the country and conveyed that the Opposition party's move was an an insult to them.

"I apologise to all of you because some people, for their own vested interests, have started abusing and calling chowkidar a thief. This has in a way put a question mark on the lives and contributions of every chowkidaar. It is unfortunate that the language of these people has hurt you," he said.

Modi, while interacting with over 25 lakh chowkidars across the country through audio bridge on the even of Holi, contrasted his approach to politics with that of the Congress as "kaamdaar (one who work) versus Naamdaar (one who is royal)".

Modi's accusation that the Congress is insulting people, who are working as watchmen, was seen in the political circles as similar to the attack that he had made in 2014 after Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyer's "chaiwala" jibe.

Modi had projected the Aiyar's remark as an attack on the people who come from humble backgrounds, repeatedly mentioning how he had struggled in his life like crores of others.

The BJP had turned the Congress leader's 'chaiwala' jibe into a vote spinner in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

"They are saying 'chowkidar chor hai' (the watchman is a thief). They want to abuse me. The job of these 'naamdaars' is to spread hatred. Even if a kaamdar becomes a prime minister, these people will continue abusing. They are going to invent new ways to defame chowkidar," Modi said.

The prime minister asked the watchmen to remain "patient and alert" over the Opposition's "misinformation" campaign, saying his 'main bhi chowkidar' campaign is now "the flavour of the season.”

“You must have noticed that these days everywhere it is you who is being discussed, be it on television, social media. Today every Indian is saying 'main bhi chowkidar'. This is now the flavour of the season," he said.