Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh): Escalating the attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over demonetisation, Rahul Gandhi on Saturday accused him of dividing the country between the rich and the poor and dubbed the move as "firebombing" on cash economy and farmers and labourers.
Addressing a public rally here, the Congress vice president said the prime minister with his note ban decision has removed the "hat" of Himachal Pradesh as it has hit hard the state's horticulture, agriculture and tourism sectors.
"Himachal's brave soldiers carried out the surgical strikes, but Modiji thought of launching a new drama. He launched the surgical strike on corruption.
"On one side the brave give away their blood and life, but here he did surgical strike on black money and corruption. Modiji this is not a surgical strike on black money and corruption. This is a firebombing and economic-bombing on the poor, farmers and labourers," he said.
Accusing Modi of dividing the country between the rich and the poor, Rahul said, "Modiji you have tried to divide India into two parts."
"On one side are the one per cent rich comprising 50 families who have private aircraft and big buildings and on other side, there are 99 per cent honest people of India -- the farmers, labourers and the middle class who built this country with their sweat and blood. You tried to divide the people of the country," he said.
He said that in the Second World War, a new way was evolved to do firebombing in 25 minutes and more people died in Tokyo firebombing than in Hiroshima bombing.
"The same way Modiji has done firebombing on the poor, farmers and labourers. You have done firebombing on India's cash economy. Not on 94 per cent of black money where it was to be done. Not on one per cent people possessing black money, but on 99 per cent poor people of the country," he said.
Showing the traditional Himachali cap, Rahul accused Modi of putting it down and destroying it. "Modiji you have removed the Himachal's 'hat' through the note ban -- horticulture, agriculture and tourism. Note ban has caused a major dent on horticulture, agriculture and tourism. You have burnt the fields of honest Himachal farmers, and you did so with a smile on your face.
"This note ban step was against all of you, against the honest people of India. In two-and-a-half years, the Modi government has attacked the poor of the country," he told the crowd. Besides Rahul, the Congress rally was addressed by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and other state leaders.
The north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh goes to Assembly polls in the latter part of 2017.