Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders have added the prefix 'Chowkidar' to their Twitter handles a day after the launch of the 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' campaign ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
After PM Modi changed his name, other leaders such as Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, Textiles Minister Smriti Irani and BJP's social media head Amit Malviya added the word 'Chowkidar' to their names.
After changing their handles, they tweeted their support for the movement. Amit Shah and Piyush Goyal said, " As Chowkidars of our nation, we are committed to creating a clean economy by using cashless financial transactions. The menace of corruption and black money has adversely affected us for decades. Time to eliminate these for a better future."
While launching the campaign on social media on Saturday, PM Modi had urged the citizens to act as watchmen or 'chowkidars' and help prevent corruption and other unlawful activities in the country. In the video, PM Modi called himself a Chowkidar and added that he was not alone, implying the general populace to join him.
In a series of tweets on Saturday, PM Modi said, "Your Chowkidar is standing firm and serving the nation. But, I am not alone. Everyone who is fighting corruption, dirt, social evils is a Chowkidar. Everyone working hard for the progress of India is a Chowkidar."
He added, "Today, every Indian is saying. Main Bhi Chowkidar."
Since Saturday, the hashtag #MainBhiChowkidar was trending on Twitter.
This campaign was retaliation to opposition leader Rahul Gandhi's barbs against the prime minister, calling him a thief. He made these comments while talking about the Rafale deal. One of Gandhi's slogans was, "Chowkidar Chor Hai (watchman is a thief)".
The Congress president said at a rally a few days back, "Five years ago, chowkidar said he wanted to fight corruption. He said he wanted to make it a 'Congress-mukt Bharat'. Today, the slogan of 'Acche Din Aayenge' has changed to 'Chowkidar chor hai'.
The word Chowkidar, describing PM Modi, came about in 2014 when he was campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections. He had said that he would be the 'chowkidar' of the country and guard the people and the money.