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Recent developments across key states and diplomatic arenas suggest a wave of success for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the nation gears up for the Lok Sabha 2024 elections. From Bihar to Maharashtra to Qatar, significant events seem to tilt the scales decisively in favor of the ruling party.

Bihar Trust Vote: NDA consolidates power
In Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s NDA government secured an emphatic victory in a floor test conducted in the Assembly. The alliance between Kumar and the BJP emerged victorious with a commanding mandate of 130-0, marking a significant departure from his previous allegiance to the Mahagathbandhan. This trust vote, amidst allegations and political maneuvering, highlights the firm control of the BJP-led coalition over the state’s governance.

Kumar’s recent switch from the Mahagathbandhan alliance to align with the BJP represents his second such move this term. Taking office as the chief minister for the ninth time, and the third time during this term, Kumar assumed office on 28 January, cementing his alliance with the BJP.

Ashok Chavan’s exit: Congress faces setback
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan’s resignation from the Congress party adds to the party’s woes ahead of the upcoming elections.

In a brief resignation letter addressed to State Congress president Nana Patole, Chavan stated, “I am resigning from the primary membership of the Indian National Congress from the afternoon of February 12th.”

Speculation about Chavan’s departure from the Congress party had been circulating since 2022 when he, along with seven other Congress MLAs, arrived late for the trust vote against the Eknath Shinde government in July of that year, missing the opportunity to vote in the Assembly hall.

This comes as another setback to the party ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election after former Maharashtra minister Baba Siddique joined Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s NCP last Saturday, leaving the Congress after 48 years. Siddique had resigned from the party on Thursday.

Qatar Diplomatic Victory: Indian Navy veterans released
In a diplomatic coup, Qatar released eight former Indian Navy officers, ending months of legal battles and diplomatic negotiations. The veterans, previously sentenced to death on espionage charges, returned home following concerted efforts by the Indian government.

Expressing gratitude, a family member of one of the released officers told Indian Express, “Our veterans are back. We are immensely grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his personal intervention, and also to the Emir of Qatar for agreeing to their release.”

These individuals, employees of the Doha-based company Dahra Global, were arrested in August 2022, accused of spying for Israel. In December last year, Qatar’s appellate court commuted their death sentences to prison terms ranging from three to 25 years.

Despite the challenges, family members remained hopeful, planning to file an appeal in Qatar’s highest court. Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) confirmed the release of seven out of the eight detainees, lauding Qatar’s decision and emphasizing India’s diplomatic success.

BJP spokesperson Shazia Ilmi hailed the release of the Indian Navy veterans as a significant diplomatic victory for India. Ilmi credited India’s skilled negotiation and diplomatic finesse for securing the veterans’ safe return, showcasing the government’s commitment to safeguarding national interests on the global stage.

“It seemed at one point of time it will be very difficult to make it happen. But they have come back safe and sound. That is great news for every Indian. It shows how much the word of the Indian foreign ministry and Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) matter,” Ilmi said.

“It is a big diplomatic win for India. It shows how India has negotiated so well that we have our Navy veterans back,” she said.

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