On Saturday, Nagaon in central Assam saw a face-off between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi.
In fact, Modi had virtually challenged Rahul for the face-off earlier in the day while speaking at a rally in Bongaigaon. "Rahulji, you are in Assam today and so am I; how about a face-off?" Modi had asked.
Rahul took the stage in Nagaon, around 400km east of Bongaigaon. "The BJP talks about empowering women. But their posters carrying slogans on women empowerment have the photo of only one man and no women," Rahul said. "BJP workers go to Mangalore and women are beaten up. A minister says in the Madhya Pradesh assembly that 20,000 women are missing. I find this strange when the government says it has no clue as to where these women have disappeared," he added.
The Gandhi scion also used the occasion to bulldoze Modi on the issue of phone tapping, saying in Gujarat, the police and Intelligence agencies were busy only in tapping phones and chasing a woman.
An hour later and 4-km away from the Congress vice president's rally venue, Modi began from where Rahul had stopped. "The Congress talks about women and their safety, but the first seven states in the country recording the highest number of crimes against women are ruled by them. The next three states are ruled by their allies," Modi said.
"After Nirbhaya died, the protests made the UPA announce a Rs 1,000 crore 'Nirbhaya Fund', but not a single rupee was spent for the safety of women. And now, they have again announced Rs 1,000 crore under the same fund," Modi said.