‘Sultanate mentality’: PM Modi targets Rahul Gandhi over chowkidar campaign
PM Modi was addressing a poll rally in Bhatapara of Chhattisgarh, which will vote in the next two phases of Lok Sabha polls. The first phase was held in the state on April 11.Updated: Apr 16, 2019 17:01 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched a counter-attack on Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s campaign against him with “chowkidar chor hai” (watchman is a thief) slogan. PM Modi hit out at Gandhi saying that he abuses him for “challenging the dynasty”.
PM Modi, who was addressing an election rally in Bhatapara in Chhattisgarh, said “They are saying whoever has a Modi surname is a thief. What kind of politics? They have branded an entire community as thief, just for claps and just to insult your chowkidar. This is the sultanate mentality which sees every downtrodden person as slave.”
“Today the naamdar (a reference used by PM Modi for Gandhi) has abused me, tomorrow he will abuse tribal people. They already make fun of my tribal attires. Whosoever challenges their dynasty, they hurl abuses at him,” the prime minister said.
This came in reference to Gandhi’s campaign against PM Modi over Rafale deal. Gandhi has alleged malfeasance in the Rafale deal with France for the purchase of 36 fighter jets for the Indian Air Force. The Congress president has alleged that PM Modi scrapped the Rafale deal being negotiated by the previous UPA regime in order to benefit “his industrialist friend Anil Ambani”, whose firm, Reliance Defence is an offset partner of the Dassault Aviation, the supplier of the fighter jets.
The government has denied any wrongdoing in the Rafale deal but the Congress has led an aggressive campaign over the issue. In his comeback, PM Modi alleged that the Congress leaders “took cuts” in defence deals in the past. He cited the Bofors scandal of 1980s and the VVIP chopper scam during the previous regime led by the Congress.
“Most of the members of the naamdar family are out on bail. Now they are started picking up chief ministers, who are out on a bail,” said PM Modi in Chhattisgarh, where the Congress routed the Bharatiya Janata Party in the assembly election last year. The BJP was in power in the state for three consecutive terms.
The prime minister claimed that there is a “strong wave in the favour of the BJP in the nation which is giving the Congress and its allies sleepless nights.” He said if the BJP-led government is voted to power, it will “speed up” the development projects and schemes aimed at the uplift of the poor.
Bhatapara, where PM Modi addressed his poll rally, goes to the polls on April 23 in the third phase of parliamentary elections. Bhatapara is part of the Raipur Lok Sabha seat. Chhattisgarh votes in three of the seven phases of the Lok Sabha elections for its 11 parliamentary seats.
Bastar voted on April 11 in the first phase. The remaining 10 Lok Sabha seats will go to the polls on April 18 and 23. In 2014 polls, the BJP had won 10 of the 11 Lok Sabha seats in Chhattisgarh.
First Published: Apr 16, 2019 17:01 IST