Days after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray borrowed the Congress’s “chowkidar-chor-hai” phrase to target him, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit back on Thursday, warning that the chowkidar would not spare the thieves.
Addressing a rally here to mark the first anniversary of the Jai Ram Thakur-led BJP government in Himachal Pradesh, Modi said: “Unko chowkidar se dar lagne laga hai. Choron ki neend haram ho gayi hai, ke chowkidar sone ko tayyar nahi hai, chowkidar choron ko chhodne ke liye tayyar nahi hai. Isliye pareshaani hai (They have started to be afraid of the watchman. The thieves have lost their sleep, because the watchman is not ready to sleep, the watchman is not ready to spare the thieves. That’s why they are disturbed).”
Mentioning the scams under the Congress-ruled governments, he said: “Whatever wrong has been happening in the country, the loot that happened, the exchequer was used for personal consumption… I launched a crusade against it. And, with your blessings, I will not stop this fight.”
Earlier this week, addressing a rally in Pandharpur, Thackeray had taken potshots at Modi by borrowing, for the first time, the “chowkidar-chor-hai” phrase often invoked by the Congress. Recounting a meeting in Beed with a farmer who showed him a lime tree — normally used to keep off pests — itself getting infested, he said: “I told him, ‘Halli paharekarich chorya karaylaa laagale aahet (Today, security persons have themselves become thieves).” Paharekari is the Marathi word for chowkidar or security person.