Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday took the ‘MainBhiChowkidar’ campaign a notch higher, adding ‘Chowkidar’ as a prefix to his Twitter handle name. BJP president Amit Shah and other party leaders followed suit.
On Saturday, Mr. Modi tweeted that everyone fighting corruption, dirt and social evils, and working hard for the progress of India, was a “Chowkidar” (watchman). “Your Chowkidar is standing firm & serving the nation. But I am not alone... today, every Indian is saying-#MainBhiChowkidar.”
After he changed the Twitter handle name, BJP president Amit Shah, MPs, Union Ministers, Chief Ministers and other leaders followed suit, in an apparent counter to the Congress’s ‘ChowkidarChorHai’ jibe.
Mr. Modi’s campaign drew a sharp reaction from the Opposition parties. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “You can keep trying Mr. Modi, but the truth cannot be extinguished. Every Indian is saying it. #ChowkidarChorHai P.S: Do force Sushma ji to add “Chowkidar” to her handle. It’s looking very bad.”
Ms. Swaraj also added “Chowkidar” to her Twitter handle. Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav tweeted: “It’s easy for the privileged to take on working class roles on social media. The reality of these jobs: they’re rooted in old caste structures + lack of opportunity.”
Furthermore, he said, the campaign caused disrespect to farmers who were forced to remain awake all through night to protect their fields; the country required a new Prime Minister, not a publicity minister.
BSP leader Mayawati targeted both the BJP and the Congress over the Rafale and Bofors issues. Mr. Modi’s first political campaign was an indication of how fearful the BJP was (of the election outcome).