The Congress party yesterday launched a Bihar-specific mobile app, named after late prime minister Indira Gandhi, which can be used by women in times of distress, and a pepper spray on which the image of its president Rahul Gandhi is inscribed.
At a function at Sadaqat Ashram, the BPCC headquarters in Patna, on the birth anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, AICC in-charge of Bihar Shakti Sinh Gohil launched the "Indira Shakti" app, which is available for download from Google Play Store.
"The app is named after Indira Gandhi to fill the women with a sense of empowerment. Users need to enter numbers of any four trusted persons and, in the event of any emergency, they just need to press tap on the app's icon and press the SOS button. All the four recipients will receive calls with location of the user," Mr Gohil told reporters.
He said the day was chosen for launching the app since Rajiv Gandhi always stood for technological innovation and empowerment of people.
The occasion was also marked by distribution of pepper sprays inscribed with images of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
"It is a very effective spray and in view of the rising incidents of crimes against women, it can come in handy. It is a device the size of a lipstick and can be carried everywhere with ease", Mr Gohil said.
A patriarchal social structure notwithstanding, women of Bihar have come to be recognised as a political force in the aftermath of the phenomenal electoral success that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar achieved because of his schemes giving bicycles and uniforms to school girls.
Banning sale and consumption of alcohol, introduced by his government in 2016 when Congress was his ally, was Nitish Kumar's another outreach to women voters.
His tie-up with the Congress and the RJD ended last year when he walked out of the Grand Alliance following corruption allegations against his then deputy Tejashwi Yadav, and returned to the BJP-led NDA.
Now, Congress in a bid to increase its support base among women in Bihar has come out with the app and pepper spray.
Ajay Alok, a spokesman of the JD(U) which Nitish Kumar heads, mocked the Congress for distributing pepper sprays and said he hopes that "before allowing his photographs on the devices, Rahul Gandhi had tested that the spray works".
Meanwhile, Mr Gohil accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of having "never cared to even remember Atal Bihari Vajpayee in any of his major speeches in the last four years" and that the former prime minister's name was being invoked after his death "for political gains".
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