The Congress leadership on Saturday launched an all-out attack on the Modi government over alleged attempts to "divide" the people of the country and "failures" on the economic front, with party chief Sonia Gandhi claiming that the Citizenship Amendment Act would "shred" India's soul and vowing to fight till the last breath to protect the country, its democracy and the Constitution.
Sonia Gandhi was speaking at the party's mega 'Bharat Bachao Rally' at the Ramlila grounds in the heart of the national capital, which was also addressed by other top leaders including Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram, Ashok Gehlot and Kamal Nath.
The leaders hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the new citizenship law, situation in Kashmir, state of economy, escalating prices, "rising" crime against women and joblessness.
A combative Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "burning the Northeast" and working towards weakening the country. He alleged that Modi was only interested in grabbing power and doing politics.
Refusing to apologise for his 'rape in India' remark, Rahul hit out at the ruling party, saying "my name is not Rahul Savarkar, my name is Rahul Gandhi. I will die, but I will not apologise for speaking the truth and nor will any Congressman do so.
"It is Narendra Modi and his assistant Amit Shah who have to apologise to the country for destroying India's economy," he asserted.
The BJP had demanded an apology from Rahul Gandhi after he had said at a Jharkhand rally that 'Make in India' has become 'rape in India' under Modi rule.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi said there is an atmosphere of "andher nagri chaupat raja (confused leader, chaotic State)" in the country and the entire nation is asking where is "sabka saath sabka vikaas".
She alleged the 'Modi-Shah' dispensation has no concern for the country and their sole narrow agenda was politics and to make people fight.
She called upon the people to fight against injustice and pledged that her party will not retreat and will fulfil its duty towards saving the country, its democracy and Constitution till the last breath.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accused his successor Narendra Modi of misleading the people by making "lofty promises" which he "failed" to fulfil.
"Six years ago, Narendra Modi made lofty promises to people. Now it has been proved that all these promises were false and he has failed in fulfilling all the promises made and the people of the country were misled," he said.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took a jibe at the BJP for its 'Modi hai to mumkin hai' slogan, saying it is possible under Modi "to have onion prices at Rs 100 a kilo, highest unemployment in 45 years, loss of 4 crore jobs and suicide of 15,000 farmers".
Castigating the BJP for its "litany of injustices", she said those who don't fight the prevailing situation today will go down in history as cowards.
"If you love India, please raise your voice. If we remain silent today, our revolutionary Constitution will be destroyed. The division of the country will start and we will all be as responsible for this division as any corrupt leader of the BJP and the RSS," Priyanka said.
In an emotional speech at the jam-packed venue, she recounted her meeting with the father of the Unnao rape victim and said how it pained her.
"At present, a litany of injustices are happening....Today, someone who does not fight against this injustice will be called a coward," Priyanka said.
Sonia Gandhi asserted the country will fight against the amended Citizenship Act as it "shreds" India's soul.
"They are not bothered that this new law will shred the soul of India, as is happening in Assam and other north eastern states," she said.
"Modi, Shah are not bothered about Parliament nor do they care for constitutional institutions. Modi and Shah have a single aim - they have a single narrow agenda. They only bother about politics. Their narrow agenda is 'Logon ko ladao, aur asli muddon ko chhupao' (Make people fight and hide the real issues)." "It is our responsibility to come out of our homes and agitate against this. The time has come that to save the country, we have to struggle hard," she noted.
She asked asked why there should not be a probe into where the black money is, for which demonetisation was done.
"The greatest sin is to bear injustice. So raise your voice against the Modi-Shah government and tell them that we are ready to give any kind of sacrifice for the protection of democracy. And we are ready for any kind of struggle to protect the Constitution.
"The Congress and only Congress has always fought for people's rights. And today too, the Congress party is not going to retreat. Till our last breath, we will fulfil our duty towards protecting the country, democracy and the Constitution" Sonia Gandhi said.
Accusing Prime Minister Modi of single-handedly "destroying" the country's economy, Rahul Gandhi said, "All of India's enemies wanted that its economy, which is its strength, should be destroyed." "That work (of destroying the economy) has not been done by the enemies, but by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself. And, (he) still calls himself a patriot," he added.
He said Modi only "thinks about one thing - that he has the power. They will do anything for power - make the youth unemployed, destroy the economy and what not".
While chief ministers of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were present at the rally, their Punjab counterpart Amarinder Singh was conspicuous by his absence.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday alleged India was suspect in the eyes of the world as its economy and polity had broken and leadership failed, as he accused the BJP of pushing the agenda of Golwalkar and Savarkar and not that of Gandhi, Nehru and Ambedkar.
The former finance minister said with the economy and polity broken, the government will raise taxes in the coming times that will "further sink" the economy.
"Today, India is suspect in the eyes of the world. India's economy is broken, India's polity is broken and India's leadership has completely failed us. If it is one person who should bear the responsibility, it is Narendra Modi," he said at the big Congress rally to highlight the "failures" of the Modi government.
with PTI inputs