While the BJP stepped up its 'Main bhi chowkidar' campaign on Sunday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other prominent party leaders prefixing the word 'chowkidar' to their names on Twitter, the weak chink in the social media armour has turned out to be former Union minister and rape accused — MJ Akbar.
On Saturday, which is when Modi launched the '#MainBhiChowkidar' campaign, Akbar tweeted in solidarity. It is to be noted that although Akbar resigned — under nationwide social and political pressure — as the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs after at least 20 women accused him of sexual misconduct, he is still a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Modi has often described himself as a "chowkidar" who would neither allow corruption nor get corrupted himself. Congress president Rahul Gandhi uses the "chowkidar chor hai"(watchman is the thief) jibe at Modi to claim irregularities and favouritism in the Rafale fighter jet deal, a charge the BJP-led government has rejected.
In his tweet promoting the campaign, Akbar pledged to help create a "new India". "I am proud to join #MainBhiChowkidar movement. As a citizen who loves India, I shall do my best to defeat corruption, dirt, poverty & terrorism and help create a New India which is strong, secure & prosperous," the tweet read.
Several activists and even the general Twitterati were quick to react to Akbar's declaration, with some making puns and others shaming the serial sexual offender. Actor Renuka Shahane said, "If you are also a chowkidar, then women are definitely unsafe."
Mjakbar is claiming to be a chowkidar..
Can someone ask him to stop trying to reinstate his space so brazenly. If people are not discussing it doesnt mean they have forgotten.
— shilpi tewari (@shilpitewari) March 16, 2019
— SANJAY HEGDE (@sanjayuvacha) March 16, 2019
MJ Akbar saying he also wants to be a chowkidar is almost as frightening as Amit Shah being one.
— Sangita Nambiar (@Sanginamby) March 16, 2019
— Numismatically Oriented (@sidin) March 16, 2019
Several Union ministers, including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, prefixed 'chowkidar' (watchman) to their names. The party leaders also put out short advertisement videos showing that people from different walks of life have turned 'chowkidars' to do their bit for the country like Modi.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Mar 18, 2019 15:21:15 IST