New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused the BJP-led NDA government of "crushing" the Supreme Court and said that the Dalits may get killed and women may face rapes but Prime Minister Narendra Modi was only interested in himself and in becoming PM again.
Addressing a gathering here to mark the party's "Save the Constitution" campaign, he accused Modi of destroying country's reputation abroad and slammed his government's record in protecting the weaker sections and minorities.
The campaign, launched against the backdrop of uproar in the country over the rape and murder of a minor girl in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua and incidents of rapes in other parts of the country including in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh's Unnao where the accused is a BJP MLA, is also aimed at boosting Congress prospects for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Citing Modi's slogan of 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao', Gandhi said it had become "Beti Bachao from BJP."
Claiming that institutions such as the Supreme Court, high courts, Parliament, assemblies and the Election Commission, IITs, IIMs have been built on the basis of the Constitution which has been given to the country by B.R. Ambedkar and the Congress, Gandhi alleged that people with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) background were being inducted in these institutions by the Modi government.
"It has happened for the first time that four judges of the Supreme Court went to the people to seek justice. The Supreme court is being crushed, it is being suppressed. Parliament was not allowed to run and the press is also being crushed," he said on a day when the impeachment notice given against Chief Justice of India by members of Congress and six other opposition parties was rejected by Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu.
Referring to Modi's radio programme "Mann ki baat", Gandhi said people will tell him their "mann ki baat" in 2019.
"Dalits may get killed, minorities face atrocities, country may burn, women may face rapes, it is nothing. Narendra Modi only wants to understand one thing that how he can become Prime Minister (again). What all has to be done to be prime minister.. only this is his interest," he said, alleging Modi was afraid to face Parliament on issues like the PNB fraud scam, deportation of Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallaya and the Rafale fighter deal.
"If I am allowed to speak for 15 minutes on Rafale issue in Parliament before Modi, he will not be able to withstand it," he said.
Referring to the second half of the budget session of Parliament, Gandhi said it was for the first time that the treasury benches "disrupted" the Houses, instead of the opposition.
Noting IMF chief Christine Lagarde had told Modi recently that atrocities were being committed against women in India; he said that even despite this, the Prime Minister was quiet.
He also questioned Modi for associating spirituality with cleaning of toilets, saying for him, the only spirituality was in "becoming the Prime Minister".
Gandhi, who faced a question during his address, asked media persons if they could pose a query to Modi when he was speaking.
"That's the difference between us and them. You attack us and we protect you. That is what we are. We defend the press. That is the difference between us and them. We will continue to do so. And will support you because we know you are brave people. And we will support your fight," he said.