Delhi Poll Campaign Reaches a Crescendo as PM, Rahul Trade Barbs

With just two days left for it to end, the high-octane campaign in Delhi Assembly polls reached its crescendo.

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With just two days left for it to end, the high-octane campaign for the Delhi Assembly polls reached its crescendo on Tuesday, 4 February, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal pulled no punches in attacking rivals on the new citizenship law, unemployment and appeasement politics.

As the scions of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty jumped into the campaign mode for the first time for the 8 February polls, Modi trained his guns at the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress, saying Delhi needs a government that will not resort to appeasement politics but support the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), abrogation of Article 370 and issues of national security.

Rahul Gandhi for his part accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and AAP of spreading hatred in society. He also accused the government of selling state enterprises such as IndianOil, Air India, Hindustan Petroleum and the railways as well as the Red Fort, and said:

“He (Modi) may even sell the Taj Mahal.”

Meanwhile, in his second rally in the city in two days, Modi touched on various issues, including surgical strikes and his government's flagship Ayushman Bharat scheme.

"You must punish those who insult the armed forces. You should vent your anger through your vote. Delhi does not need a government which gives opportunity to enemies to attack us," he told the people at a rally in Dwarka.

The PM added that the national capital also needs a government that will give it direction and not resort to blame game.

The anti-CAA protests in Shaheen Bagh and other places in the city did not find any mention in his speech, unlike his address in Karkardooma on Monday when he had said these protests were not a coincidence but a political conspiracy to destroy the country's harmony.

He also accused the Opposition of spreading lies and rumours about the CAA, a legislation which seeks to give citizenship to the persecuted minorities of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Muslims have been excluded from it.

The prime minister accused the Kejriwal government of not implementing the Ayushman Bharat scheme, the flagship initiative of the Centre, in the national capital and asked if the AAP government's 'mohalla clinics' will work if Delhiites fall sick outside the city.

(With inputs from PTI)

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