Rahul Gandhi today conceded the words he had chosen to trash the 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....," the Congress vice president told reporters.
Rahul, whose open denunciation and mounting public opinion against the ordinance and the related bill, forced the government to repeal the ordinance, also said he had the right to voice his opinion and claimed a "large part" of Congress party wanted the ordinance withdrawn.
"I have the right to voice my opinion. A large part of the Congress party wanted it," he said defending his action.
"Why am I being penalised for raising my voice on something that was wrong? Was I wrong?", Rahul said, apparently hinting at opposition BJP, besides some UPA allies, including Sharad Pawar's NCP and Farooq Abdullah's National Conference which had reportedly criticised the events that led to the reversal of the cabinet's decision.
"My point is detrimental to our allies," Rahul said when suggested RJD chief Lalu Prasad, jailed in a fodder scam case, would be the most unhappy person after what the Congress vice-president did to thwart the ordinance.
Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, which is supporting the UPA government from outside, had openly criticised rescinding of the ordinace.
Main opposition BJP has been most vocal and even demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying Rahul's outburst against the ordinance, which he had called "nonsense" and should be "torn up and thrown away", had undermined his authority.
"I spoke my mind on the issue, it is amazing to see reactions to it. I am flabbergasted," he said.