- Notes ban "worst decision" of India's history: Rahul Gandhi
- He also accused PM Modi, the BJP of weakening institutions like RBI
- Sonia Gandhi is not attending 'Jan Vedna Sammelan' against notes ban
"People keep asking when will Acche Din come. They will come only when the Congress comes back to power in 2019," the Congress Vice President said to a roar of approval from party workers. He described demonetisation as the "worst decision" of India's history.
Mr Gandhi also accused PM Modi and the BJP of weakening institutions built over the years.
"Modi ji has done in two years, what we haven't done in 60. He has destroyed the institutions that were built over many years, like RBI, which has been left to face ridicule. The notes ban was a personal decision of Modi ji that was forced on the RBI."
Calling institutions the soul and spirit of India, he charged that "people who talk of Hindu dharma are the ones who are destroying the very soul of this country."
Mr Gandhi's mother and party president Sonia Gandhi is not attending the daylong event at the Talkatora sports stadium in Delhi, amid reports that she is unwell.
Mr Gandhi had also presided over the party's foundation day function in December and before that, chaired a meeting of its top decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee, in the absence of his mother.
The 46-year-old Congress Vice President was then urged to urgently take the post his mother, Sonia Gandhi, has held since 1998.
Mr Gandhi's next big test is the polls in five states including Uttar Pradesh.
In recent weeks, he has led the opposition charge against the government's decision to scrap 500 and 1,000-rupee notes and the impact on people, who faced a severe cash crunch in the first few weeks.
The party has not commented on Sonia Gandhi's absence. Party spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil had said yesterday: "Rahul Gandhi has led the agitation against demonetisation and therefore he'll preside over the 'Jan Vedna Sammelan'. We have got a leadership in Rahul Gandhi, who is not mad for power. We have a system."