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The BJP launched a multi-pronged attack on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday as it fielded a battery of leaders, led by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party president J P Nadda, to take on the ruling AAP on a range of issues but Shaheen Bagh dominated the barrage.
Shah, who addressed four rallies, said the Delhi polls are a contest between Prime Minister Narendra Modi who eliminated terrorists through surgical strikes inside Pakistan and those supporting the Shaheen Bagh protest.
To counter the BJP offensive, Kejriwal addressed 'jansabhas' (public meetings) and held four roadshows.
The Congress on the other hand got some start power for its campaign. Actress Nagma canvassed for Congress' Gandhi Nagar candidate Arvinder Singh Lovely.
Seeking votes for the BJP during an election meeting at Bhatti Mines Sanjay Colony(Chhatarpur), Shah said the refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan have as much right over the country as its other citizens.
"Two forces are face to face in the assembly elections in Delhi. On one side is Prime Minister Narendra Modi who eliminated terrorists through air and surgical strikes inside Pakistan and on the other hand are those supporting Shaheen Bagh. You have to decide whom do you support," he said.
Shah said a vote for the BJP in the February 8 polls will ensure security of Delhi and the country.
Shaheen Bagh in south Delhi has emerged as the epicentre of anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests in the country. A large number of women protesters have taken the centrestage at the protest in Shaheen Bagh since mid-December last year.
Addressing an election rally at Mangolpuri, Nadda hit out at the AAP for pursuing "politics of appeasement" and accused it of being "hell bent on burning Delhi".
"Entire Delhi is troubled because of Shaheen Bagh and AAP's politics of appeasement is hell bent on burning Delhi," he said.
Campaigning for party candidate in Jangpura, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh claimed that he felt "foreign forces" were trying to "weaken" India by "misleading" people against the amended citizenship law.
"No Indian citizen including Muslims will loose their citizenship due to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Still, if the citizenship of a Muslim is questioned by anyone, the BJP will stand with him," he said.
"Misunderstanding is being spread to mislead the people. I feel there certainly is the hand of foreign forces behind this, who want to weaken India. The decision is to be made by you, where do you want the country to head," Singh said.
Chief Ministers of Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Haryana Jairam Thakur, Pramod Sawant and M L Khattar also addressed rallies canvassing support for the BJP candidates.
Slamming Kejriwal, Khattar said the AAP chief did nothing but a "drama" over key issues like education and health.