The Congress has to change and be humble to fight the arrogance of the BJP, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday, asserting that after 2014 the opposition is fighting the battle for India and not for getting power.
In a conversation with India's former chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu, now a professor in the Cornell University in the US, Mr Gandhi said the Congress party has to open itself to the people and submit itself to them, bringing together the resistance against the Modi government.
Asked what is his vision for the Congress in the face of recent electoral defeats, the former Congress chief said, "Gather the resistance. Bring together the resistance. There is resistance across all fronts, many different types of people, many different types of ideas and the Congress party has to have the humility, flexibility and respect to absorb them."
"It has to change itself, it has to transform itself to playing that role. Remember when we started the Congress party, it was basically bringing together the resistance, we used to call it passive resistance in those days because we are not into the violent kind of resistance, we still are not, so we will never do anything violently, anything aggressively, anything nastily, all polite, all nice, but we will bring together India's power," he asserted.
Mr Gandhi said the Congress has to open itself to the Indian people and submit itself to them going forward.
"It has to be humble, because it is fighting arrogance. So that is what the Congress party has to do. It is not an easy transformation, it is a difficult transformation," he noted.
Mr Gandhi said a lot of people are not happy with what is going on in the country currently and the Congress has to carry all these forces together.
"I actually believe that not just the Congress party, the opposition after 2014 is no longer fighting for power, we are fighting now for India. For me we are now fighting a battle for India," he said.
"Before 2014, we were fighting elections to win elections, we were fighting for power, now that game has changed, because the rules now have completely changed. We don't have the institutions to protect us," he alleged.
Mr Gandhi said India essentially was about a "negotiation" in which India decided that it is going to have a free and fair fight for power and that is what happened till 2014.
"You mentioned that there was the brief period of Emergency where the Congress party was wrong, I am the first to say it. But that changed in 2014 (with the Modi government coming to power). That is not happening anymore. There is no free fight for power in India anymore which means now we have to fight for India," he said.