Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said it was time for his party workers to call out Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “bogus promise of achche din”, and work hard to provide an alternative to people.

Gandhi, who addressed the Congress Parliamentary Party at Parliament House, said corruption, economic failure, incompetence and social divisiveness have reached their zenith under the current government.

“People of India are looking up to the Congress and its allied parties to help remove the Modi government and replace it with one which will listen to them, understand their problems and provide solutions to help reduce poverty, unemployment and inequality in the country,” PTI quoted the Congress leader as saying. “There is a great responsibility that is being placed on all of us today, to win this historic struggle between the forces of democracy and social justice versus those of autocracy and social hierarchy.”

Gandhi recalled Modi’s remarks in 2014, when he said that India had been a slow “passenger train” for 70 years. “Give me your votes, said Modi ji, and I will take you on the best and most comfortable journey of your life,” the Congress president said. “Four years of Modi rule later, sadly, India today looks more like a train that is being driven to disaster by an autocratic, incompetent and arrogant driver, who does not care what happens to the passengers he is responsible for.”

Gandhi also attacked the Modi government over the Rafale deal with France. “The Rafale scam, involving over Rs 1.3 lakh crores of public money and designed to bail out debt-ridden corporate cronies of Modi ji, is symbolic of the true ‘sanskar’ [values] of this government – Raam naam japna, paraya maal apna [pretending to be pious and god-fearing, take what’s not rightfully yours],” the Hindustan Times quoted him as saying.

Gandhi asked party members to restore hope among farmers and the youth, give relief to ordinary families, ensure the safety of women and protect Dalits.

He talked about the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case. “Reports of mass rape of little girls at Muzaffarpur in Bihar are horrifying,” Gandhi said. “Lawmakers and leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the National Democratic Alliance are protecting the culprits.”

‘This has not happened in the last 3,000 years’

The Congress chief said Modi had stayed silent about the rapes in Muzaffarpur and in Uttar Pradesh, PTI reported. “The prime minister speaks on everything – bullet train, aeroplanes, toilets, but not women,” Gandhi said while addressing a Mahila Adhikaar Sammelan at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi. “He had talked about changing India, had talked about 70 years...what they have done against women in the last four years, had not happened in the previous 3,000 years in this country.”

Gandhi said his aim was to have 50% women members in the Congress, which the BJP could never have because the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is a “male chauvinist organisation”. “The day a woman enters the RSS, it will not remain the RSS,” the Congress president claimed.

He promised to include more women in central units of the All India Congress Committee. “We are going to create space for you in the Congress party,” Gandhi said. “We need to create special space for women in our party. We need to create a space at every level.”

The Congress chief also said that the real aim of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign was to tell people to protect their daughters from BJP MLAs.