Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday promised a series of sops for women if his party came to power in Odisha.Interacting with women on the occasion of Women’s Day during his visit to Jeypore in Odisha’s Koraput district, he promised to get the women’s reservation bill passed in Parliament and adopt a policy of ‘zero tolerance’ for atrocities against women. He said all women would be provided free education of their choice, be it in engineering, medical or any other field. He also promised financial assistance for marriage of poor women and enhancement of widows’ pension to ₹2000 a month.Assembly elections will be held in Odisha along with the Lok Sabha polls.All women, especially those from tribal, dalit and backward communities, should get free education to achieve real empowerment. Maternity related deaths were a concern and he wanted it to be fought with access to information and modern medical services. He promised to help Women Self Help Groups (WSHG) through more bank loans. The Congress would appoint special officers for women in every panchayat and set up financial corporation for women’s empowerment.Rafale dealLater in the day, addressing a public meeting at Jeypore, around 30 km from the HAL plant at Sunabeda, Mr. Gandhi came down sharply on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for sidelining the public sector undertaking in the Rafale fighter jet deal. Inclusion of HAL in the deal would have provided employment opportunity to youths. Now it only benefited Anil Ambani, he alleged.He referred to documents related to the Rafale deal published in The Hindu. Officials of the Defence Ministry and Air Force, he said, say Mr. Modi prepared the new contract bypassing the negotiating team. He promised loan waiver for farmers and enhancement of support price for paddy to ₹2500 within 10 days if the Congress came to power in Odisha. He reiterated the promise of minimum income guarantee for the poor in the State.He ended his speech with sarcasm aimed at Mr Modi. “We want to provide a government that hears your ‘mann ki baat’ instead of making you hear ‘mann ki baat,’ he said.