In a hard-hitting speech before a packed gallery at the 84th Congress Plenary Session here Congress party president Rahul Gandhi Sunday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his alleged misrule and promised to give good governance if voted to power in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

In a speech marked by dramatic outbursts, poses and anecdotes, Rahul Gandhi sought to send across the party cadres and leadership a clear signal that he wanted to restore the glory of the Congress of yore with stalwarts like Jawarharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel in its ranks.

The Congress president said he would work to get the best of talent from all strata of the society in India and abroad and take them on board to recreate the Congress of the past to take on the BJP-RSS.

Time and again Rahul attacked Modi and the RSS as he sought to rip apart the Prime Minister’s claims to good governance and called upon the people to forgive his party’s omissions and commissions and give the ‘truth’ a chance as against Modi’s ‘Maya’.

Likening the Congress to Pandavas and the BJP-RSS to Kauravas in the epic Mahabharata Rahul said: “Centuries ago, there was a huge battle on the field of Kurukshetra. The Kauravas were powerful and arrogant. The Pandavas were humble and fought for the truth. Like the Kauravas, BJP and RSS are designed to fight for power. Like the Pandavas, Congress is designed to fight for the truth.”

He also flayed the government’s performance on corruption front and accused Modi of diverting people’s attention from the ‘real issues’. “Today the corrupt and powerful control the narrative in our country. Will India live a lie or will India have the courage to face the truth? The PM diverts our attention and jumps from one event to another from Gabbar Singh tax to yoga in Parliament but never talks about the issues,” Gandhi said, even as he admitted to his party’s failure to live up to the people’s expectations.

“I don’t say it with happiness but the last government we formed did not stand up to the expectations of the people. The people of the country were let down by us,” Gandhi said.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, also addressing the gathering, accused Modi of destroying jobs and coming a cropper on his party’s promise of creating two crore jobs after coming to power.

“The ill-thought and ill-considered legislation in regard to demonetisation, and the legislation on GST hastily put forward have destroyed many jobs. The BJP government has messed up the economy. When Modi ji was campaigning he made lots of tall promises, those promises have not been fulfilled,” he said.