Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday likened the appearance of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, PTI reported.

“I just saw that his looks have changed…But if you have to change the looks, at least make it like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel or even Jawaharlal Nehru will do,” Sarma said. “It is better if it looks like [Mohandas] Gandhi. But why is your face turning into Saddam Hussein?”

Sarma claimed this was because the culture of the Congress party was not close to Indians. “Their culture is closer to people who have never understood India,” he alleged.

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader made the remarks at a political rally in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad city.

At the rally, Sarma also criticised the Congress party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, alleging it was ignoring poll-bound states of Himachal and Gujarat.

In response, the Congress on Wednesday said that the Assam chief minister was behaving like a “petty troll”.

“I would not even like to dignify this diatribe with my reaction,” Congress leader Manish Tewari said, according to PTI. “I think it is very important that we maintain the decorum of language in public and maintain some propriety.”

He added: “The chief minister of Assam [Sarma] unfortunately sounds like a petty troll when he articulates sentences of this type.”