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'Rich have chowkidar, farmers don't': Priyanka's dig at Modi

PM launched the ‘main bhi chowkidar’, or ‘I am also the watchman’, campaign on Saturday

Rich have chowkidar, farmers dont: Priyankas dig at Modi

New Delhi: Kicking off her political campaign from Prayagraj, Congress general secretary and eastern Uttar Pradesh in-charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to add "chowkidar" (watchman) to his twitter handle by saying that only rich people can have a security guard (chowkidar) and its not meant for farmers or any other poor people.

In reply to a question on ongoing 'chowkidar' twitter buzz, Vadra said, "It is their choice what they want to add to their name. When I met potato farmers in western UP, one of them told me, 'the rich have chowkidar, the farmers are their own chowkidar'." Modi launched the "main bhi chowkidar", or "I am also the watchman", campaign on Saturday. The Prime Minister has repeatedly referred to himself as the country's chowkidar. Modi and several leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), including Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Suresh Prabhu, Smriti Irani and Ravi Shankar Prasad, also added "chowkidar" to their Twitter handles.

Priyanka's first stop was the decades-old Bade Hanuman temple, popularly known as "Lete Huye Hanuman Mandir (sleeping Hanuman temple)" a must-visit in Prayagraj. Priyanka, who was flanked by priests and security men, also offered flowers at the temple with her head covered with her sari. Notably, Indira Gandhi had also visited the temple in 1979. Priyanka joined active politics in January and has been given a big task - managing the Congress campaign in eastern Uttar Pradesh, which includes PM Modi's Varanasi.

The Congress could manage only two of UP's 80 seats in the 2014 election. The boat ride covers much of that region. "Ganga maiya udaar hai (Mother Ganga is large hearted)," she said as she set on the journey.

The 47-year-old stayed at Swaraj Bhawan, her ancestral home, and started the day with a tweet recalling her grandmother.

She tweeted a photo of the room in the 19th-century building where Indira Gandhi was born on November 19, 1917. "While sitting at the Swaraj Bhawan, I can see the room where my daadi (grandmother) was born. My grandmother used to tell me the story of Joan of Arc while putting me to sleep at night. Her voice resonates in my heart even today. She used to say, Be fearless. Then, everything will be good'," Priyanka Gandhi tweeted in Hindi. Addressing a gathering in Prayagraj, Vadra accused the Centre of not fulfilling its promises and destroying the institutions. "They want to control everything...they think they can mislead the people," she said, adding, "A country cannot run like this...I was sitting at home for long...but I have now stepped out as the country is in crisis."

The Congress general secretary also urged the people to vote to elect a responsible government in the elections. "It is your country, you have a responsibility towards it."

She said the Congress governments in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan had waived farm loans within 10 days of taking over.

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