LokSabha 2019: Rahul Gandhi mocks PM Modi's 'chowkidar' campaign

PTI
Saturday, 23 March 2019

"What type of people employ chowkidars outside their homes? Have you seen a chowkidar deployed at the gates of a common man's house? Only the rich do so. You people yourselves guard your houses and fields," Rahul Gandhi said.

PURNEA: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday took potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's, 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' campaign, calling him a gatekeeper who stood guard for the wealthy.

Modi and his party men have launched the 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' (I too am a watchman) campaign to blunt the Opposition's 'chowkidar chor hai' (watchman is a thief) slogan.

"What type of people employ chowkidars outside their homes? Have you seen a chowkidar deployed at the gates of a common man's house? Only the rich do so. You people yourselves guard your houses and fields," Gandhi said.

Addressing his maiden rally in Bihar after the announcement of Lok Sabha polls, Gandhi said Modi addresses Anil Ambani, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and others like them as 'bhai' while he calls common people 'mitron' (friends).

"He made promises of Rs 15 lakh into the accounts of all the poor, two crore jobs in five years and waiver of loans to the farmers. Did he ever tell you why he failed to deliver on these? Has he done anything for the benefit of farmers, workers and the youth?" Gandhi asked.

"Just a give a thought to what has happened in the country in the last five years -- the most popular slogan has become 'chowkidar chor hai' (the guard is the thief) replacing Modi's 'ache din aane wale hain' (good days are going to come)," the Gandhi scion said.

Speaking on recent media reports of alleged payoffs made by the then Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa to senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh and L K Advani, Gandhi alleged "benefits" had gone to them.

Gandhi charged Modi of trying to create two Indias -- one for a handful of rich and the other for the large mass of poor.

"The Congress, on the other hand, promised loan waiver for farmers and did so within a fortnight of its governments being formed in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan," he claimed.

He also said if the Congress-led alliance came to power "a minimum income line will be drawn and a sum of money will be automatically deposited into the accounts of those who are below that line".

Referring to demonetisation, Gandhi said if its stated purpose was eradication of black money, why were the common people made to undergo such great difficulties.

"Why the savings of women made over the years for difficult times were taken away from them in the name of demonetisation? If this government can waive loans worth Rs 3.5 lakh crore of the rich, why can he not provide much-needed relief to farmers?" he asked.

Gandhi said he failed to understand why the people were not getting angry when theft was being committed everyday before their eyes. "How long will you remain a mute spectator? You will have to come forward to change things for the better," he said.

In an apparent reference to the politics of communal polarisation allegedly pursued by the BJP, Gandhi said, "The politics of hatred would not take the nation anywhere. We have to take all the people along."

The Congress president also spoke of the problems faced by the residents of Bihar who are forced by circumstances to migrate to far-off lands in search of a living and claimed that if his party was voted to power, potential back home would be tapped to improve the peoples' lives.

"You have this beautiful produce here called Makhana (prickly water lily). I can visualise a future when it is produced and marketed in a way that makes people in the West dump popcorn in favour of this delicacy," he said, adding "what is needed is a network and food processing units near your farm".

The rally was attended by senior party leaders from Bihar, including former union minister Tariq Anwar and state president Madan Mohan Jha.

The Purnea Lok Sabha seat is currently held by the JD(U). Uday Singh, who won the seat in 2009 on a BJP ticket, has recently joined the Congress, miffed with his party for handing over the constituency to their alliance partner.

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