Himanta Biswa Sarma claimed Rahul Gandhi's current look is like Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has claimed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi looks like "Saddam Hussein", the former Iraqi dictator, and it would have been better had he turned his appearance like Sardar Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru or Mahatma Gandhi.
Hitting back, senior Congress leader Manish Tewari said the Assam Chief Minister was sounding like a "petty troll".
Rahul Gandhi has been seen sporting a beard during the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra, a mass contact initiative of the Congress.
During a public rally in Ahmedabad on Tuesday, Mr Sarma said, "I just saw that his looks have also changed. I said in a TV interview a few days back that there is nothing wrong with his new look. But if you have to change the looks, at least make it like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel or even Jawaharlal Nehru will do. It is better if it looks like Gandhiji. But why is your face turning into Saddam Hussein?" This is because the Congress culture is not closer to Indian people. Their culture is closer to people who have never understood India, Mr Sarma claimed.
He further claimed that Rahul Gandhi (during the Bharat Jodo Yatra) preferred not to visit states like Himachal Pradesh, where elections were held recently, and poll-bound Gujarat, and was instead focusing on states where there were no polls because he knew that he will be defeated wherever he visits.
Mr Sarma said he saw (Narmada Bachao Andolan) activist Medha Patkar with Rahul Gandhi during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Maharashtra.
"She is the one who conspired to deprive Gujarat of water. Had she succeeded, the Narmada water would never have reached Kutch. Rahul Gandhi is doing Bharat Jodo Yatra with such people who never wanted Gujarat's development," the Assam Chief Minister claimed.
At a press conference in Ahmedabad on Wednesday, Congress leader Manish Tewari said, "I would not even like to dignify this diatribe with my reaction. I think it is very important that we maintain the decorum of language in public and maintain some propriety. The CM of Assam unfortunately sounds like a petty troll when he articulates sentences of this type." Elections for the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held on December 1 and 5 and the counting of votes will be taken up on December 8.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)