The BJP might have won the 2019 Lok Sabha polls convincingly by winning 303 seats and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to retain PM’s post for the second time but he has removed the word ‘Chowkidar’ from his Twitter handle. PM Modi had launched the Main Bhi Chowkidar campaign on March 16 while campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls and urged his party workers to use the word Chowkidar on their Twitter handle. He added Chowkidar in his Twitter handle on March 17 a day after launching the “Main Bhi Chowkidar” (I am the watchman) campaign on social media. A day after the launch, many BJP leaders added the prefix Chowkidar to their Twitter handles as a mark of support to the poll campaign. He also appealed to masses to support the Main Bhi Chowkidar campaign and received a good response from them.
CPI (M) leader Ajit Abhyankar said, “BJP had launched the Main Bhi Chowkidar campaign to woo the voters ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Now, the election has ended and results are out; hence, they have withdrawn the campaign and Modi has removed Chowkidar word from his Twitter handle. It was the slogan for their campaign and they promoted it.”
While campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls, Modi said that he is the Chowkidar of the country and keeping a vigil to guard the nation. He also interacted with 25 lakh Chowkidars across the country through video conferencing. However, after winning the election Modi has removed the word Chowkidar from his Twitter handle. Even BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, and Arun Jaitley removed the word Chowkidar from their Twitter handles. Former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Union Ministers Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, and Arjun Ram Meghwal state MPs Om Birla and Divya Kumari removed the prefix from their profile pages on Twitter. Thus a question which arises here is that whether PM Modi had started the Main Bhi Chowkidar campaign with an eye on the election. Has he ceased to become the Chowkidar of the country after winning the Lok Sabha election? What message is Modi giving to the people who had supported the Main Bhi Chowkidar campaign?
Congress spokesperson Dr. Raju Waghmare said, “Modi had used the word Chowkidar as Congress had coined the slogan Chowkidar Chor Hai. We only had said that Modi is a thief which is not applicable to other members of BJP. He inserted the word Chowkidar in his Twitter handle and urged people to follow it. After winning the election he has removed the word Chowkidar which doesn’t mean that he has become free from the offences committed by him.”
“A joint parliamentary committee must be constituted to probe the Rafale deal. The truth will be unveiled after the inquiry. Modi had launched this campaign to divert people’s attention from real issues and to dilute the allegation of thief made against him,” he added.
PM Modi took to Twitter to explain why he removed the Chowkidar prefix and stated, “The people of India became Chowkidars and rendered great service to the nation. Chowkidar has become a powerful symbol to safeguard India from the evils of casteism, communalism, corruption, and cronyism.”
He tweeted further, “Now the time has come to take the chowkidar spirit to the next level. Keep this spirit alive at every moment and continue working for India’s progress. The word chowkidar goes from my Twitter name but it remains an integral part of me. Urging you all to do the same too!”
NCP IT cell National President Bindu Bhosale said, “Main Bhi Chowkidar campaign was a publicity stunt of the Modi government. The slogan was launched to attract voters. This campaign was launched with an eye on the election. People get connected with such a campaign. Such type of campaigns is not necessary if one really works for the nation’s development.”
On the other hand, the Congress had taken a jibe at PM Modi’s Chowkidar campaign by coining the phrase Chowkidar Chor Hai. The slogan was aimed at Modi for the alleged irregularities and favouritism in awarding the contracts related to the Rafale fighter jet deal. Congress President Rahul Gandhi had attacked the failure of PM Modi by addressing him as Chowkidar Chor Hai. Rahul said that Modi is the Chowkidar of wealthy like Anil Ambani and not of the country. The Congress alleged that Modi took away from the poor and farmers to support Ambani, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi.
Former minister and BJP leader Brijmohan Agarwal said, “The objective for which Main Bhi Chowkidar campaign has been launched has been fulfilled. Modi will become the Prime Minister of the country once again hence he has removed the name Chowkidar from his Twitter account. The campaign was launched during the election.”
– Vijay Panchal