Congress president Rahul Gandhi today hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of women safety and questioned his silence on the alleged incidents of rape of girls in some shelter homes in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
He hit out at the BJP's ideological mentor, the RSS, alleging that it was a "male chauvinist organisation" and did not have women in it, thus cannot do what the Congress can for women.
Gandhi also promised to extend his party's full support to the passage of the women reservation bill and said if the Modi government does not bring it, the Congress will do so soon after coming to power.
He also talked of empowering women within the Congress and bringing them forward in the organisation, for them to lead a state or the country one day. He promised to includes more women in central units of the AICC, saying "the country needs them".
Launching a fierce attack on the prime minister, he said various institutions were under attack by the BJP and the RSS, who have "devastated" the country, and that the Congress party will unitedly defeat them in the coming days.
Referring to the government's slogan of "beti bachao, beti padhao", he said that it was actually for "saving the daughters from BJP MLAs", an apparent reference to some BJP leaders accused in rape cases.
"Institutions are under attack in the country, be it Parliament, vidhan sabhas and the judiciary. Minorities, Dalits, women, tribals, small businessmen are under attack. We will fight the BJP and defeat them in the coming days.
"The Congress party and the opposition are working together to fight the ideology of the BJP. We are fighting an ideological battle," he said while addressing a "Mahila Adhikaar Sammelan" at Talkatora Stadium here.
"(He) had talked about changing India, had talked about 70 years...what they have done against women in the last four years, has not happened in the last 3,000 years in this country, leave alone 70 years," he said.
He said, "The prime minister speaks on everything - bullet train, toilets, but not women. Whenever there are atrocities on women, he does not speak up."
He also said that whenever he goes abroad and embraces leaders, he has no answer on why women are not safe in India.
Talking about the women reservation bill, which is pending for the last few years, the Congress chief said the BJP lacks commitment on the issue and cited the example of BJP's ideological mentor -- the RSS, which he said was a "male chauvinist organisation".
Promising to bring women forward within the Congress and give them their rightful place, Gandhi while pointing to the slogan "your fight is our fight" put up at the conference, said you can add "your right is Congress president's fight".
He promised to bring women forward in framing the policy, manifesto and the organisation. He said his job as the Congress president is to ensure women have equal space in the organisation.
"We are going to create space for you in the Congress party. We need to create special space for women in our party. We need to create a space at every level.
"The RSS and the BJP will never be able to show the country a similar vision. Their parent organisation, the RSS, in its history has never allowed a woman into its organisation. The RSS is purely a male organisation. There are other organisations in the BJP that have females in it, but RSS is a completely male chauvinist organisation that does not believe in giving space to women. So they simply can't do what we can do," he said.
He said if he faced with a choice between a man and a woman for selecting election candidate, he will choose whoever is more capable.
"If both are equally capable, I will choose the woman as a candidate," Gandhi said.
"My job as Congress president is to ensure, women have equal space in our organisation. Our aim is to have 50 per cent women in our party," he said.
Gandhi, along with Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev, unveiled the flag and the symbol of Mahila Congress.
Gandhi also said that the media should no longer worry, while alleging that the BJP and RSS is frightening them.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)