A BJP leader has termed gods 'chowkidars' during a public meeting in Uttar Pradesh's Shahjahanpur district, according to a video that has surfaced on social media. The video purportedly shows Manoj Kashyap, former convenor of the 'Braj Prant', a unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party for the 'Braj' (Mathura-Vrindavan) area, raising slogans at a youth workers' meeting on Tuesday.
Kashyap can be seen chanting "Mera Ram" (my Ram), and the crowd responding with "chowkidar" (watchman). Similarly, slogans like "mera Shankar" and "mera Hanuman" were followed by chants of "chowkidar".
Kashyap has been made the star campaigner of the BJP for the Shahjahanpur Lok Sabha seat. State Irrigation Minister Dharmpal Singh and BJP candidate Arun Sagar can be seen sitting on the dias in the video.
Asked about the incident, Chief Development Officer Mahendra Singh Tanwar said the matter had not come into his knowledge yet, but assured that action would be taken after a proper inquiry.
Shahjahanpur BJP leader Manoj Kashyap raises chants of Ram and Hanuman to be 'Chaukidar' at a public meeting. pic.twitter.com/sOX8bb7yfg— Piyush Rai (@Benarasiyaa) April 5, 2019
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been repeatedly hurling the "chowkidar chor hai" (the guard is a thief) jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi to claim irregularities and favouritism in the Rafale deal and award of offset contracts related to the Rs 58,000-crore defence agreement with France. However, the government has rejected the charges.
The origin of this line dates back to the run-up of the 2014 general elections when Modi had promised to work as a 'chowkidar' to guard the people's money and their trust once elected to the top office.