Ahmedabad: Rahul Gandhi on Thursday conceded the words he had chosen to trash the controversial Ordinance on convicted lawmakers might have been wrong but not his sentiment.

"My mother (Congress president Sonia Gandhi) told me the words I used were wrong. In hindsight, may be the words I used were strong but the sentiment was not wrong. I am young," Rahul said.

Ordinance is complete nonsense, tear it up: Rahul Gandhi

"I have the right to voice my opinion. A large part of the Congress party wanted it," he said.

Cabinet to withdraw Ordinance on convicted lawmakers

"Why am I being penalized for raising my voice on something that was wrong? Was I wrong?" Rahul said.

PM expresses unhappiness over Rahul’s remark

The principal Opposition BJP and UPA allies NCP and National Conference had criticized the events that led to the reversal of the Cabinet's decision.

Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party, which provides crucial external support to the minority Congress-led UPA government at the Centre, had openly criticized rescinding of the Ordinance.

"I spoke my mind on the issue. It is amazing to see reactions to it. I am flabbergasted," Rahul said.

Rahul admits factionalism in Gujarat Congress

Rahul, who is on a two-day tour of Gujarat, admitted factionalism in Congress was responsible for repeated defeats of the party in Gujarat. "The problem is not external, it is internal. Certainly there is factionalism in Congress party," Rahul said to a question why his party was repeatedly losing to BJP in the state.

Maintaining that ‘most democratic institutions of the country are not democratic in nature’, he said, "The population of India is 1.2 billion. However, there is centralization of power here. Only about 1,000 people decide who will go to the Vidhan Sabhas and Lok Sabha - who in turn decide the future of this country.”

"What we are doing in the party is decentralization of power. Every bill that we have brought is about decentralization of power from Panchayati Raj to MNREGA," he said.

"When I was the general secretary of youth Congress, we brought reforms. No post of YC or NSUI comes from top to bottom now. But you cannot apply what we did in YC and NSUI to the main Congress party. It is more complex here. But our direction is right. Our direction is of empowering more people," he said.


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