Opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday took a dig at BJP's 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' campaign, with BSP chief Mayawati saying the "chaiwala" prime minister has now turned "chowkidar" and this shows the "change" India witnessed under this government.
Leading the opposition attack, Mayawati said on Twitter, "After BJP launched 'Mai Bhi Chowkidar' campaign, PM Modi & others added the prefix 'Chowkidar' to their Twitter handles. So now Narendra Modi is Chowkidar & no more 'Chaiwala' which he was at the time of last LS election. What a change India is witnessing under the BJP rule. Bravo!"
Her ally Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav tweeted in Hindi, "Is there any chowkidar to check the theft of fertiliser?" In another tweet, Yadav appeared to be referring to the controversial Rafale jet deal.
"Has the chowkidar responsible for the theft of file from the ministry been punished.
He prefixed his tweets on Tuesday with "Vikas puch reha hai" (Vikas is asking), playing on the word "development" which was used extensively by the BJP during its 2014 campaign.
On March 6, Attorney-General KK Venugopal had told the Supreme Court that the jet deal documents were "stolen" from the defence ministry, triggering a row.
Two days later, he claimed the Rafale documents were not stolen from the ministry and what he had meant in his submission before the Supreme Court was that petitioners in the application used "photocopies of the original" papers, deemed secret by the government.
On Monday, Congress party incharge of eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, "Unki (the prime minister) marzi apne naam ke aage kya lagaen. Mujhe ek kisan bhai ne kaha ki 'dekhiye chowkidar toh ameeron ke hotey hain, hum kisan toh apney khud chowkidar hotey hain." (I met a group of farmers...potato farmers of western UP. One of them told me, chowkidar is for the rich. We farmers are our own chowkidar).
The Congress, SP and BSP have attacked the BJP after the saffron party launched a new election campaign under which its leaders, starting from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, prefixed "chowkidar" to their names on the official Twitter handles.
This campaign appeared to be aimed to blunt the Congress charge of the government indulging in corruption ahead of the Lok Sabha election, which starts on April 11.
The election will end on May 19 and the results will be declared on May 23