Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday slammed the Congress for their 'Chowkidar Chor Hai' barb during an interaction with 25 lakh chowkidars via audio bridge medium a day before Holi.
In his around half hour interaction with over 25 lakh chowkidars, PM Modi invoked opposition's 'Chowkidar Chor Hai' jibe and said that this is an insult to chowkidars everywhere but the 'gallis' (abuses) would be embraced and worn as badges of honour.
The Prime Minister also said that abusing chowkidars and calling them chor is an insult to the chowkidars of the nation. "I apologise to all chowkidars that some people, for their own interests, have been abusing chowkidars and saying chowkidar chor hai, raising questions about the dedication of chowkidars of the nation," The comment was a direct attack by Modi at Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi, who along his party members have used the phrase to describe PM Modi.
Talking to the security guards, PM Modi said, "I consider myself a chowkidar, we are similar but the way people abuse chowkidars and call them chor is unfortunate." A handful of the chowkidars also got a chance to ask direct questions to the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, from Rahul Gandhi and sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien and Samajwadi Chief Akhilesh Yadav, the opposition criticised PM Modi for diverting from the real issues facing the country including jobs, unemployment and farmer crisis.
The 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' poll campaign was launched last week by PM Modi where he pre-fixed 'Chowkidar' to his Twitter handle.
Several BJP leaders including Party President Amit Shah and other Union Ministers followed suit, adding the same to their names on their handles in support of the campaign.
Modi launched the campaign asking people to take the 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' pledge to support him in his fight against corruption and social evils.
He will once again connect with chowkidars from nearly 500 locations across India who have joined his drive and are associated with the 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' campaign on March 31.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Tuesday had said that the campaign has become a "people's movement" claiming the 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' hashtag had been tweeted 20 lakh times and had 1,680 crore impressions.