Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave two back-to-back interviews to two of his favourite channels, Zee News and Times Now last week. While speaking to Zee News editor, Sudhir Chaudhary, Prime Minister also used an example of those selling pakaude (popular fried Indian snacks) outside the office of Zee News implying that it was possible because of his pro-business initiatives.
When asked about his 2014 poll promise of creating at least 1 crore job every year, PM Modi had said, “Somebody please tell me if someone sells pakaude and earns Rs 200 by the end of the day, will you not call it a job? Which register mentions that a man is earning Rs 200 every day? It’s a simple thing to understand that the banks have given loans to 10 crore people. Which means that these many people have earned their livelihood.”
Of course, the PM faced roasting on social media platforms with many pointing out that those selling pakaude outside the office of Zee News and other channels in Noida’s Film City area did so even before he became the prime minister.
What the prime minister did not appear to know was that his interviewer, a leading member of the Modi fan club, has been running a concerted campaign to have those daily wage earners evicted out of the Film City. Quite ironic that the people whose profession that our prime minister proudly flaunted to make a compelling case for his pro-people policies have been the ‘victims’ of the Zee News editor’s sustained campaign.
Here are some of the tweets and videos that Chaudhary has been regularly posting on Twitter over the last one year. In one video, he had even tagged the newly elected chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, pleading him to make an urgent intervention.
— Sudhir Chaudhary (@sudhirchaudhary) September 7, 2017
— Sudhir Chaudhary (@sudhirchaudhary) November 7, 2016
His campaign against the roadside vendors hasn’t just been limited to Film City in Sector 16A. He’s also gone to other parts of Noida and Delhi to shoot videos in order to highlight the areas allegedly encroached by roadside vendors that the prime minister mentioned to support his claim on job creation.
ज़ी न्यूज़ की तरफ़ से आपको दिल्ली में अतिक्रमण की कुछ तस्वीरें भेज रहे हैं.. उम्मीद है कि आप इन तस्वीरों के आधार पर कार्रवाई करेंगे और अपना फ़र्ज़ निभाएँगे। @LtGovDelhi @ArvindKejriwal @kjsehrawat @dtptraffic @DelhiPolice pic.twitter.com/xv3RuSF2Yc
— Sudhir Chaudhary (@sudhirchaudhary) December 11, 2017
— Sudhir Chaudhary (@sudhirchaudhary) September 27, 2017
Chaudhary even anchored at least two special programmes on his prime time show, DNA, to highlight just how awful the situation had become as a result of these so-called pakaude selling people causing nuisance to the Zee News editor and others. According to him, the vendors had occupied the area within the Film City outside the office of Zee News illegally. Chaudhary had sought to draw the attention of Noida Police to the issue of alleged illegal encroachment by vendors.
While Chaudhary may be spot on in raising the issue of illegal encroachments by these roadside vendors, we are only highlighting the irony of the PM’s claims to a person who’s been out there to ensure that the street-side vendors did not exist anywhere close to the office of Zee News. We wonder what example the prime minister had used if Chaudhary had indeed succeeded in getting those selling pakaude evicted from Film City.