Rahul Gandhi, who led the Congress to its worst-ever electoral performance, addressed party workers in Delhi to motivate them for elections that are coming up in states like Haryana and Maharashtra.
“Every scheme of the UPA has helped empower the common man,” said Mr. Gandhi, 44, referring to the government that was anchored by the Congress and voted out in May.
Mr. Gandhi, referring occasionally to notes, focused a large part of his speech on urging his party to ensure the safety of women. “In India, we worship goddesses,” he said. “But the same people who go to temples to pray to goddesses molest you in buses. Every woman in India has been oppressed at some point,” Mr. Gandhi said.
The issue of sexual violence against women has been a topic of national outrage and debate since December 2012 when a young Delhi student was fatally gang-raped on a moving bus. The government led by Mr. Gandhi’s party then introduced tough laws to punish sexual crimes, but heinous gang-rapes have been reported since then including in Mumbai, often considered the country’s safest city for women.