As part of the pre-poll campaigning Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top Bharatiya Janata Party BJP leaders on Sunday added ‘chowkidar’ to their name on Twitter as part of a campaign launched on Saturday that requested locals to take the ‘main bhi chowkidar hoon’ electoral pledge, Hindustan Times reported.
The move is a counter to Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s pitch that mocks PM Modi for describing himself as the country’s watchman. ‘Chowkidar chor hai’ (Watchman is a thief) has been a running theme in Rahul Gandhi’s campaign against the BJP for months.
Indian elections will take place between April 11 and May 19.
Gandhi has often argued that his pitch, which started with his allegation that the government bought overpriced Rafale fighter jets, resonated with the people.
On Sunday, PM Modi’s personal Twitter handle was changed to ‘Chowkidar Narendra Modi’ and that of BJP chief Amit Shah’s was ‘Chowkidar Amit Shah’. Soon scores of BJP leaders made the change too, following up on the BJP’s “Main bhi Chowkidar” campaign launched on Saturday.
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 tweet was accompanied by a video that begins with the PM addressing the people saying, “Your chowkidar is absolutely alert”.
This story originally appeared in the Hindustan Times