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Modi attends an innovation conference with Israeli and Indian CEOs in Tel Aviv.

REUTERS/Oded Balilty

The promise and peril of Modi’s success

Narendra Modi’s political juggernaut seems unstoppable.

Through a series of maneuvers — some of them questionable, if not illegal — Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP party last week took the reins of Maharashtra, India’s richest state. It was yet another victory for Modi in the run-up to elections in 2024, when he is expected to secure a third term.

But Modi’s take-no-prisoners style of governance, coupled with a weak opposition, a compliant judiciary, a supine press, and a society struggling with weakened civil liberties, is increasingly threatening the pillars of the world’s largest democracy.

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People participate in the March for Our Lives on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

What We're Watching: US gun-control deal, Indian protests, Macron's majority, Biden goes to Saudi

US Senate reaches compromise on guns

On Sunday, a group of 20 US senators announced a bipartisan framework on new gun control legislation in response to the recent wave of mass shootings. The proposal includes more background checks, funding for states to implement "red-flag" laws so they can confiscate guns from dangerous people, and provisions to prevent gun sales to domestic violence offenders. While the deal is much less ambitious than the sweeping ban on assault weapons and universal background checks President Joe Biden called for after the massacre in Uvalde, Texas, it's a rare bipartisan effort in a deeply divided Washington that seeks to make at least some progress on gun safety, an issue on which Congress has been deadlocked for decades. Biden said these are "steps in the right direction" and endorsed the Senate deal but admitted he wants a lot more. The announcement came a day after thousands of Americans held rallies on the National Mall in the capital and across the country to demand tougher gun laws. Will the senators be able to turn the framework into actual legislation before the momentum passes?

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Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, addresses his party supporters during an election campaign rally.

REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

What’s at stake in India’s state elections?

Over 150 million Indians have registered to vote in five state elections that just kicked off and will run through March 7. (Fun fact: 39,598 voters aged 100 and over are registered to vote, according to The Economist.) The biggest electoral battle will take place in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, which is often seen as a bellwether for national politics. The other states holding elections include Punjab, Goa, Manipur, and Uttarakhand; all but Punjab currently have BJP-led governments.

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Indian PM Narendra Modi along with Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath during the inaugural ceremony of Purvanchal Expressway on November 16, 2021 in Sultanpur.

Deepak Gupta/Hindustan Times/Sipa USA

Indian state elections will test Modi’s strength

Indian voters will go to the polls starting February 10 for elections in five states including Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous. The results will be declared on March 10, and have important implications for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agenda and the 2024 general elections. We spoke to Eurasia Group expert Diwakar Jhurani to get a better sense of what to watch for.

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As India gasps for air, a government “still in denial” | GZERO World

As India gasps for air, a government “still in denial”

According to Delhi-based journalist Barkha Dutt, while the Indian government has finally started to mobilize in response to the COVID crisis, there's still a lot of denial about the severity of the ourbreak. "Our Health Minister, for instance, made a statement in the last 24 hours saying that India is better equipped to fight COVID in 2021 than in 2020. That's simply rubbish. We had India's Solicitor General telling the Supreme Court that there is no oxygen deficit as of now. That's simply not true." In an interview on GZERO World, Dutt tells Ian Bremmer that only the connection between fellow Indians, helping each other when the government cannot, has been a salve.

Watch the episode: India's COVID calamity

Joe Biden the Candyman | PUPPET REGIME | GZERO Media

Joe Biden the Candyman

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