New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an exclusive interview with Republic TV Bharat openly responded to his critics and detractors, who sometimes ' attack him for being a 'chaiwala' or 'chowkidar' if they find no other issue to hold him accountable for.

Modi said, when he became the chief minister of Gujarat, the longest reigning one, words like 'chaiwala' or questions related to his family never rose. "But as soon as I was announced as the (BJP's)  prime ministerial candidate for the 2013-14 election, some people tried to dig my past and abuse me of being a tea vendor," he said.

The Prime Minister said further that rewards worth lakhs of rupees were announced for those who have tasted chai made by Modi!

"Thus, responding to all the curiosity, I proudly said, yes I hail from a humble background and a modest family and that I have spent my childhood selling tea", Modi said.

Speaking about the 'chowkidar' drive that PM Modi announced at the onset of 2019 election campaign, he said that he had used the term 'chowkidar' before -- for his 2013-14 campaign too. He had mentioned then that 'chowkidar' was not a system but a spirit. 

Modi said, "Chowkidar doesn't mean a hat, whistle or a stick" while adding, his 'chowkidar' drive was in accordance with the Gandhian idea of trusteeship.

He further said, "When people tried to hit the spirit of a chowkidar using indecent language, I stood up in front of the entire nation and proudly said that I am actually the person you are accusing me of being, now do what you want to do."

In a recent event, opposition parties, including the Congress have heaped the choicest of abuses against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During protests by Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu in New Delhi, placards insulting Modi were displayed. The placards questioned the need of handing over the prospects of the nation into the hands of a tea-seller. 

Also Read:Chandrababu Naidu's protest sees 'chaiwala' jibe resurface: Instances when opposition abused Modi 

Furthermore, after the Prime Minister announced the "Main Bhi Chowkidar' campaign, Congress launched a counter campaign against Modi by the name of 'Chowkidar chor hai'. Reacting to this Modi, as a step to further his 'Mai bhi chowkidar'campaign, apologised to all watchmen on behalf of Congress.

Modi also changed his name on Twitter to ‘Chowkidar’, with BJP chief Amit Shah and several Union ministers following suit.