Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday took a swipe at the ancestral roots of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi while ridiculing another Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s comment that he (Mr. Modi) was a mere “leader of Gujarat” whereas Mr. Gandhi was a “national leader.”

“I accept with pride 50 per cent of Mr. Singh’s statement about me and Mr. Gandhi,” Mr. Modi said at a Swami Vivekananda Youth Convention held in Rajkot as part of his 63rd birthday celebrations. “I am proud to be called a leader of Gujarat and am happy to serve the people of the State. But I do not agree with what he said about Mr. Gandhi.”

Mr. Gandhi, he said, was not just a national leader, but an international leader. “Mr. Gandhi can contest elections, and possibly win, both in India and Italy, while I cannot go beyond India’s boundaries.”

Raising the pitch of his attacks on the Congress leadership as the Assembly elections approach, Mr. Modi also targeted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for “betraying” the trust of the people and India’s “democratic structure.”

“The people… do not trust anymore what Dr. Singh and the Congress say,” he said, referring to the Prime Minister’s promise to contain inflation in 100 days, give jobs to one crore youths and eradicate poverty.