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 face-off.
"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, once again targeting the Gandhi family over the foreign origin of Rahul's mother.
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 Digvijay Singh also yesterday described Modi as a regional leader and Rahul a national one.
Modi's birthday was celebrated by the BJP in Bihar with a state minister from the party cutting a cake at its office in Patna.
Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Minister Giriraj Singh cut a 62-kg cake during the occasion celebrated under the banner of the Narendra Modi Fans Association (NMFA). Singh has publicly backed Modi's candidature as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate.
Alleging that the UPA government is deceiving people, Modi criticised the Manmohan Singh government for not fulfilling promises made in Congress election manifesto in 2004.
"In 2004, Congress in its manifesto had promised to give job to one crore youths but according to a report issued by the Government of India, Gujarat is the leader in giving jobs with 72 per cent of share," Modi said addressing a large gathering of youths.
"I want to ask a question to UPA government and its Prime Minister that if you are not able to fulfil your promises then why do you make them... only to deceive people?" he asked.
Modi again slammed the UPA over FDI in retail in India and said the government's policy would prove fatal for Indian retailers.
"The UPA's policy of foreign trading (FDI in retail) in India would prove to be fatal and Gujarat has opposed the policy to ensure the security of retailers in the state," he said.
He also condemned the Prime Minister's "silence and soft approach" to national issues and said, "In the last eight years, Singh has held his head high only twice, first time while signing the nuclear treaty with the US and second time giving permission to foreign trading in India, and both the times he worked for the benefits of foreign governments."
On his birthday today, Modi also made several announcements including giving taluka status to Vinchhiya town of Jamnagar district and increasing age restriction from 25 to 28 and 28 to 30 for recruitment in state government offices.
Olympics medallist Gagan Narang, cricketers Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, Jaydev Shah and BCCI vice president Niranjan Shah were among those present at the youth convention.
Understanably many commentators are angry about NS Kapur's foolish comments. This Kapur must be Diggy or Manish Tewari or Kapil Saibal or Chiddu name changed.
It is amazing the Congress party does not learn from their past mistakes. All of us know very well that provoking Mr. Narendra Modi will lead to sharp retaliation. Knowing this if somebody commit the same mistake again and again then it is nothing but foolishness. I find nothing wrong in Mr. Modi's replay to Mr. Digvijay Singh
EVERY ONE MUST AGREE THAT IN BJP NOBODY IS ABOVE THE PARTY AND HAS TO LEAK THE FEET OF SUPERIOR LIKE IN COGNRESS. EVENTHOUGH SONIA & RAHUL ARE MUCH YOUNGER IN AGE, MM SINGH, DIGGY AND MANY CONGRESS LEADERS LEAK THEIR FEET EVERY TIME THEY MEET THEM! MOST OF THE LEADERS IN CONGRESS HAVE NO RESPECT FOR THEMSELVES & HAVE INSULTED THEIR ANCESTORS! IN SHORT THEY ARE NON PATRIOTIC-CORRUPRT-COWARD-OPPORTUNISTS AND INGNORANT.
congress leaders comment about rahul and dravid shows how they are so low in intellectual banruptcy. rahul gandhi is no match to dynamic and performing modi. in fact modi is gold and rahul is not worth junk. does congress leaders think indian public is as low in intellect as congress leaders.
I agree there is sycophancy and intellectual bankruptcy in the Congress. How is Modi's or your statement any different?
I have often heard Modi harping on Italy time and again when he knows that the People of India have time and again ignored it by voting majority of them in support of those accused of being Italian as true and genuine people of India. Modi knows it well the verdict of Supreme Court and of paeople smashing of well sung chorus of 'shining India' and 'good feeling'. He was brushed aside by the Himachalis when he had gone there to canvass for BJP in elections and twice the victory of UPA in General elections of his so-called Italians. If this is not enough for Modi, he should know that more than 200 Gujaratis have been convicted along with his Minister and MLA for their crimes because they were misled by Modi. I think he should say that these have also suffered brcause of Italians. If these convicts were tried in Italy, all of them would have been spared and the one who was the mastemind should be convicted. Perhaps Modi is afraid of Italy.
But you did not say anything about RG being a national leader. Pray, please tell us what has done to earn the title of being a national leader.As far as we know wherever he went to canvass for Congress it lost badly. UP and Bihar are two shining examples. Also if he is "national" leader why does he go to states for seeking votes for his party and also why does not go to Gujarat!
stupid Kapur, kaunsa gaon ka hai re? sonia aur tu ek hi hospital me paida hue the kya? kya galat bola hai modi ne? he is calling spade a spade, she is of Italian origin is it wrong? congress ke jute chatne chodo, desh ke bare me socho. Modi ka raj me atleast doshiyo ko saja to ho raha hai, 1984 ka congress ka danga aur hajaro sikhon ka murder bhul gaya kya? kunsa congress wala andar gaya?
NS Kapur, tell us how many congress leaders and workers were convicted for butchering innocent sikhs in 1984? Sonia was not ready to accept India's citizenship for 14 years. And in 1977 when Janata Party won, she had packed her bags ready and kept in Italian Embassy. This is real story!