Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government believe that “one idea” should be imposed on the country. “They have a particular view about role of women in our society,” Gandhi said at Stella Maris College in Chennai.

“There is currently an ideological battle going in India,” Gandhi said. “It’s sharply divided between two ideologies. One ideology is a unifying ideology which says that all people of the country should live together and shouldn’t be dominated by one idea.” The other ideology was that of Modi and his government, the Congress president claimed.

“The current government is attacking and capturing different institutions of the country,” Gandhi said.

Gandhi said there were not enough women in leadership positions in the country, NDTV reported. “I don’t see them leading enough companies, I don’t see them leading enough states, I don’t see enough of them in the Lok Sabha,” he said. The Congress president said that his party, if it came to power, will pass the Women’s Reservation Bill, and will also reserve 33% of government jobs for women.

Gandhi said things cannot change until the attitude towards women changes. “And I am a believer that women, generally, are smarter than men,” he added.

The Congress president said that women are treated better in South India than in the North. “Tamil Nadu is one of the leaders in how it treats its women,” he said. “However, there is still a lot of improvement required.”

“You can’t have a negative atmosphere in the country and expect economic growth,” the Congress president said. “Economic growth is directly related to the mood of the country. We will move the country to a place where people feel empowered and happy.” Gandhi said the Congress will increase expenditure on education to 6% of the Gross Domestic Product.

In response to a question, Gandhi said that while it is necessary to stop militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, one must also “embrace the people” of the state. He said it is necessary to engage with the people of Jammu and Kashmir to secure a better future.

Gandhi also said he has no problem with the government investigation his brother-in-law Robert Vadra in a corruption case. “I will be the first person to say it... investigate Robert Vadra but also investigate Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said according to PTI. “Modi has his name in government documents which say that he is directly responsible for parallel negotiations with Dassault Aviation on the Rafale deal.” Gandhi said the law should be equal for everyone.

‘Will decide minimum basic income’

Addressing a press conference in Chennai later, Gandhi said the Congress will decide a Minimum Basic Income if it comes to power. Responding to a question about specific plans for Tamil Nadu, Gandhi said it has huge manufacturing capacity. Gandhi said he wants to make Tamil Nadu the centre of job creation. However, he added that local leaders will be able to better answer the question about the state.

Gandhi accused the government of India of “inventing” economic data. “There is a crisis of credibility,” the Congress president said, referring to the changing of GDP data last year. “The BJP differentiates between states depending on where they are in power,” Gandhi alleged.

The Congress president added that he believes in decentralisation. “I don’t think the country should be run out the Prime Minister’s Office,” he said. Gandhi claimed Modi also runs Tamil Nadu from Delhi.

Asked what the Congress will do about the Rafale deal if he comes to power, Gandhi said the party does not doubt the capability of the Rafale jets. “You are asking whether we will cancel the deal or not,” the Congress president said. “That is a technical question, we do not have the information right now.” Gandhi labelled the offset contract granted to businessman Anil Ambani the “Anil Ambani clause” and said he is against it.

The Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases, from April 11 to May 19. The results will be announced on May 23.