With 2019 Lok Sabha Elections just around the corner the Congress have intensified its poll campaigns across the country. Launching the party's poll bugle in Odisha, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday promised to strive for the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill in the Parliament. The party will also adopt a policy of zero tolerance towards atrocities on women if it comes to power in 2019. Besides, all women would be provided free education, be it in engineering or medical or any other field if the party is voted to power in the state.
"There is an urgent need to provide reservation for women in state assemblies and the Lok Sabha to ensure their empowerment. The Congress is keen to ensure this," Gandhi said during an interaction with women at a convention in Jeypore town of Odisha's Koraput district.
Noting that reservation for women in panchayats has benefited women significantly, the Congress chief lamented that the number of women ministers in states like Odisha had remained "abysmally low".
Speaking on the occasion of the International Women's Day, Gandhi said, "If the Congress comes to power, our approach will be zero tolerance towards atrocities against women. They should get speedy justice".
Referring to Odisha, the Congress president said, "All women, particularly tribals, Dalits and those belonging to the backward categories, should get free education to ensure they are truly empowered".
Gandhi pointed out to the alleged rape of a woman by a BJP MLA in Uttar Pradesh last year, saying it was "unfortunate" that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had remained silent on the issue. "In case of rape and atrocities on women, the prime minister and chief ministers must make their views clear," he added.
Moving on to the fierce engagement between the air forces of both India and Pakistan across LoC early in the month, the Congress chief said, " A few days ago Air Force attacked Pak, our people were martyred".
"For 70 years HAL is manufacturing aircraft for Air Force, Indian youth make aircraft for Air Force. PM talks of patriotism but he takes money from Air force and gives it to Anil Ambani," he alleged.