Balakot airstrike was carried out by jawans, not me, says PM Modihttps://indianexpress.com/elections/pm-modi-main-bhi-chowkidar-campaign-lok-sabha-elections-live-updates-5651542/

Balakot airstrike was carried out by jawans, not me, says PM Modi

"As a chowkidar, I will fulfil my responsibility. But, some people who have a narrow mind have stereotyped the image of a chowkidar," PM Modi said.

PM Modi main bhi chowkidar campaign, attacks Congress, Pakistan, mentions Balakot airstrike
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed people at a town hall programme at the Talkatora Stadium. (File)

Interacting with people who have pledged their support to the ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ campaign across 500 locations through video conferencing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday took a veiled dig at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and said some people with a “narrow mind” had stereotyped the image of a “chowkidar”.

“As a chowkidar, I will fulfil my responsibility. But, some people who have a narrow mind have stereotyped the image of a chowkidar,” Modi said. Rahul Gandhi has repeatedly hit out at the PM with the ‘chowkidar chor hai’ jibe and has called him a watchman for the wealthy and the rich.

PM Modi also said the country does not need rajas and maharajas while asserting that a chowkidar was a representative of Mahatma Gandhi’s concept of trusteeship. “Country does not need rajas and maharajas. Chowkidar is a spirit, a sentiment. The spirit behind chowkidar is expanding,” he said.

PM Modi main bhi chowkidar campaign, attacks Congress, Pakistan, mentions Balakot airstrike
PM Modi said the country does not need ‘rajas and maharajas’. ( BJP/Twitter)

On March 16, PM Modi launched a social media campaign — Main Bhi Chowkidar — and added ‘chowkidar’ to his Twitter handle. A day after the launch, a number of BJP leaders across the country added the prefix ‘chowkidar’ to their Twitter handles.

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Lashing out at the Congress, Modi said there were people who were supporting the Pakistan narrative in their effort to attack him. “Elections aren’t a priority for me, the country is. The sad part is, people who are against Modi are supporting the Pakistan narrative in their effort to speak against me,” he said.

PM Modi on Balakot airstrike and Pakistan

On the IAF’s airstrike on terror camps inside Pakistan following the February 14 Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy that killed 40 personnel, PM Modi said Pakistan was in a dilemma over accepting the Balakot incident.

“Pakistan is in a dilemma. If they say something happened in Balakot, they’ll have to accept, ‘Yes, we had terrorist camps operating here.’ They kept telling the world, there’s nothing. They haven’t let anyone visit the place in the last 1.5 months,” he said.

He further said that Pakistan was reconstructing the site of the airstrike to deny any existence of terror camps. “We’ve been told Balakot area is being reconstructed by Pakistan to show that a school is being run there so that people can be taken there and shown that no terror camp existed there,” he said.

The PM said it was time to focus on the development of the country rather than waste time on India-Pakistan tussle. “We have wasted a lot of time on India- Pakistan tussle. Let Pakistan suffer the consequences of its actions. It is time to focus on our development,” PM Modi said.

PM Modi warns of fake promises by Opposition

Warning of fake promises being made by several political parties, PM Modi urged the people not to fall into their trap. “We must be well aware of fake promises that several political parties are making these days. Therefore, I urge people to minutely examine everything some parties are saying,” the PM said in an apparent dig at Congress’ minimum income guarantee scheme of Rs 72,000 per year for 20 per cent poor families in the country.

He also directly accused the Congress of spreading lies. “Congress’ lies are seasonal. When there were elections in Delhi, they came up with the topic of ‘intolerance’. When there were elections in Bihar, their topic was – ‘Modi will take back all forms of reservations’. Then there was the concept of ‘award wapsi’,” he said.

On March 20, Prime Minister Modi had addressed over 25 lakh watchmen from across the country via audio conference, saying “chowkidar” had now become synonymous with patriotism and honesty.

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