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Take ‘bhagidar’ remark as compliment: PM Modi hits back at Rahul in Lucknow

In an attack on Modi on a range of issues, including the controversial Rafale jet deal, Rahul Gandhi said during the recent debate on the no-confidence motion against the government that the PM had promised to be a ‘chowkidar’ but had become a ‘bhagidar’.

india Updated: Jul 28, 2018 21:21 IST
Narendra Modi,Rahul Gandhi,chowkidar-bhagidar
PM Modi said he feels honoured to be a ‘bhagidar’ of the problems of the poor. He was speaking at an event in Lucknow to mark the third anniversary of three government initiatives related to urban development. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday hit back at Congress president Rahul Gandhi for his ‘chowkidar-bhagidar’ remarks, saying he took the remark as a compliment.

“These days I am dubbed as ‘bhagidar’ (partner) and not ‘chowkidar’ (watchman). I feel honoured to be a ‘bhagidar’ of the problems of the poor,” the PM said, referring to Gandhi’s insinuation that he was a ‘collaborator’ in graft.

“I take this allegation as an honour, I am proud to be a ‘bhagidar’ of the pain suffered by the poor, the hard-working labour class, the agony of a sad mother, a poor farmer whose crops get destroyed by natural calamities, of soldiers who brave bone-chilling weather as well as scorching heat,” he said.

Modi was speaking at an event in Lucknow to mark the third anniversary of three government initiatives related to urban development. In his 30-minute address, Modi said by 2022, the government will provide a roof to all homeless people.

“I am a ‘bhagidar’ of that poor family which is forced to sell his land for medical treatment, of the homeless, of illiterate children, and of the unemployed,” he said.

In an attack on Modi on a range of issues, including the controversial Rafale jet deal, Rahul Gandhi said during the recent debate on the no-confidence motion against the government that the PM had promised to be a ‘chowkidar’ but had become a ‘bhagidar’.

Modi was speaking at a programme on “Transforming Urban Landscape”, marking the third anniversary of three key government initiatives related to urban development — Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation of Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Smart Cities Mission.

He also went around an exhibition on Flagship Missions of Urban Development and interacted with PMAY(U) beneficiaries and launched various projects related to urban housing and infrastructure and the Smart City scheme.

He slammed the previous non-BJP governments before Yogi Adityanath took over as the chief minister for their work culture.

“I know how people used to live earlier. That is because they (those in power) had a one-point programme, which was how to decorate their bungalows,” Modi said, apparently referring to a row after former CM Akhilesh Yadav vacated his official accommodation.

First Published: Jul 28, 2018 21:19 IST