Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi on Monday taunted Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying ‘chowkidars’ were meant to protect the rich, as she launched a Prayagraj-Varanasi boat ride on the Ganga. Addressing supporters from her specially-prepared vessel, she said into a hand-held microphone:
Unki (Prime Minister) marzi apne naam ke aage kuch bhi lagaen. Mujhe ek kisan bhai ne kaha ki ‘dekhiye chowkidaar toh ameeron ke hotey hain, hum kisan toh apney khud chowkidaar hotey hain (“It is up to him what prefix he uses. Yesterday I met a group of farmers. One of them told me, chowkidars are for the rich. We farmers are our own chowkidars),” she said.
She also told people crowding the banks of the Ganga, that Modi “pushes money into the pockets of industrialists”. ‘‘So think before voting, use your vote judiciously,’’ she cautioned. As the motor boat set sail, the 47-year-old waved to people on the banks of the river and loudly inquired about their well-being. At one point, her vessel got stuck in shallow water and was pulled out by supporters.
Earlier, Gandhi was spotted at the Bade Hanuman Mandir, popular as ‘Lete huye Hanuman Mandir’, near Prayagraj Sangam.She prayed at the temple and made an offering to the river Ganga. Asked about her river ride, Gandhi replied: “Ganga maiya udaar hai (Mother Ganga is magnanimous.)”
At Manaiya ghat, she broke her security protocol and shook hands with supporters who had arrived from different parts of Uttar Pradesh. The river ride will take her to Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.