Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi took a swipe at Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi saying there was no comparison between him and Rahul.
"There is no comparison between Rahul Gandhi and me. Rahul Gandhi is an international leader as he belongs to India and Italy," Modi said.
Raking up the issue of foreign origin of Congress President Sonia Gandhi again, the BJP stalwart, who spent his 62nd birthday today continuing his month-long campaign in poll-bound Gujarat, also said he was proud to be a regional leader of the state.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has steadfastly opposed making Modi a prime ministerial candidate in the next Lok Sabha elections, also greeted his Gujarat counterpart and wished him a long life. The forthcoming Assembly polls is expected to be a new arena for a Modi-Nitish faceoff.
"Recently a Congress leader made a statement that Rahul Gandhi is a national leader of Congress and I am a regional leader. I am happy to be a leader of Gujarat but I do not agree to consider Rahul as national leader," Modi said, addressing Swami Vivekananda Youth Convention in Rajkot.
"I am proud to be a regional leader of Gujarat. Rahul is not a national leader but an international leader and he can contest elections in India as well as in Italy," Modi said.
There has been much comparison between the two leaders in the recent past. Rahul Gandhi is being projected as the Congress's prospective Prime Ministerial candidate, while Narendra Modi is being projected as the Bharatiya Janata Party's for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi had last week made the comment when he was asked whether the forthcoming election in Gujarat will be a "Modi Vs Rahul" battle. He had said comparison cannot be made as Rahul is Congress's national leader while Modi is regional leader of Gujarat.
Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh also on Sunday described Modi as a regional leader and Rahul a national one.
(With additional information from PTI)