Congress president Rahul Gandhi's spontaneous decision on Thursday evening to hold a midnight candlelight march over the Unnao and Kathua rape cases saw surprised party leaders pressing panic buttons to activate workers.
The party also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was merely paying lip service as his party and the RSS have an "anti-Dalit mindset". "Our daughters will get justice", he said at an event to inaugurate the B R Ambedkar memorial here.
A visibly miffed Priyanka Gandhi was heard telling the crowd to respect the cause for which they gathered at the India Gate. The Prime Minister was referring to the gangrape of 17-year-old Unnao girl by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and gangrape rape and murder case of eight-year-old Asifa Bano in J&K's Kathua by eight men in a Hindu temple.
Karnataka is witnessing a three-corner contest among the Congress, BJP and the HD Deve Gowda-led JD (S). "We had said this before as well, that women and children are in danger in your government", Azad was quoted as saying.
Gandhi's tweet came soon after PM Modi assured justice in Kathua and Unnao rape cases claiming that no criminal will be spared.
"How can anyone protect the culprits of such evil", he asked, adding that the violence against the child was a crime against humanity.
He said Modi's silence over the rising atrocities against women was "unacceptable" and that India was waiting for him to speak up. Speaking to the Times Network, the family also questioned the BJP's "Beti Bachao" slogan and slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders who had attempted to "shield" the accused in the case.
Hundreds of people, predominantly Congress workers, had joined the march, responding to Mr Gandhi's call to join him for "a silent, peaceful, candlelight vigil" to protest violence against women and demand justice. The eight-year-old girl belonging to a nomadic Muslim tribe in Kathua district was allegedly abducted, drugged, raped, tortured and killed in January.