BJP Ahead In 3 States, Congress In 1, The BJP national icon Narendra Modi is working on the ground and it looks like the road to 2024 for BJP seems to be on the right track.
The Congress has surged ahead in Telangana where votes are being counted today for the 119 assembly seats. According to early trends of Telangana assembly elections results, the Congress is leading on 70 seats, while the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) is ahead on 37.
If the trend continues, this will be the first time that India's youngest state sees another party at the helm. The BRS has been at the helm since the state's birth in 2014.
The BJP has crossed the halfway mark in Rajasthan with 115 seats, while the Congress trails with 75 seats, early leads show.
This is despite exit polls predicting a tight race and some even giving the Congress an outside chance at ousting the BJP from a state it has dominated since 2003. At 1.00 pm the BJP was ahead in 160 seats - more than double the Congress' 71. These numbers represent a gain of 48 seats for the BJP and a loss of 44 for the Congress, relative to the 2018 results.
The Congress was firmly in the lead in Chhattisgarh, and showed early trends. But by 11 am, the BJP sneaked up - overtaking its rival. At 1:00 am, three hours into the counting, the BJP was leading in 51 seats, while the Congress was at 37. The turnaround in BJP numbers came in the last hour.
"The people believed in Modiji's guarantee, that's what the trends show. We could see the undercurrent, didn't know it would be this huge. Bhupesh Baghel has been rejected by Chhattisgarh. Bhupesh Baghel's corruption, liquor scam, Mahadev app scam contributed to this results," Raman Singh, BJP veteran and former Chief Minister, told reporters.
As the anticipation builds in the heartland states of India, exit polls are painting a dynamic political landscape ahead of the election results. The predictions suggest a two out of three victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the heartland, with Congress securing one state. In Chhattisgarh, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel is poised for a second term, with exit polls indicating Congress winning 40-50 seats out of 90. Jan Ki Baat predicts 34-45 seats for the BJP, while the majority mark stands at 46.
Madhya Pradesh, a state with political unpredictability, sees varied projections. Jan Ki Baat leans towards the BJP with 100-123 seats, Republic TV-Matrize suggests 118 to 116 seats, and TV 9 Bharatvarsh-Polstrat estimates 106-116 seats for the BJP. The Congress, which won in 2018 but faced a government collapse, is on the edge, with only one poll suggesting it might reach the halfway mark in the 230-seat state.
Rajasthan, known for consistently voting out the incumbent since the '90s, appears to be continuing the trend. Two out of three exit polls predict a clear victory for the BJP, while a third hints at a slim margin. The electoral landscape seems to be shifting in favor of the BJP in this historically competitive state.
However, the most significant upset might be in Telangana, where K Chandrasekhar Rao's Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) has held power since the state's inception in 2014. Three exit polls unanimously suggest Congress replacing BRS in this election, with a fourth also favoring Congress. This potential change in leadership after nearly a decade adds a layer of intrigue to the electoral dynamics.
As the nation awaits the counting of votes on Sunday, the diverse political scenarios in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Telangana promise an eventful and closely watched election outcome in the heartland states. The results will not only shape the political landscape in these regions but also have broader implications for the national political narrative.
Israeli forces, some masked and firing guns into the air, conducted an early Wednesday raid on part of Gaza's largest hospital, Al-Shifa, which houses patients and displaced individuals. The soldiers, engaged in urban combat with Hamas operatives, demanded that all men aged 16 and above raise their hands and exit the building to surrender. The operation, labeled "precise and targeted" by the Israeli army, aimed to combat Hamas, accused of running a command center beneath the clinic.
Overnight military actions at Al-Shifa were confirmed by both Israeli and Palestinian officials. Witnesses inside the hospital described dire conditions, with medical procedures conducted without anesthesia, families lacking food and water in corridors, and the smell of decomposing corpses pervasive.
As Israeli forces navigated the hospital's corridors, hundreds of young men emerged from various wards, including the maternity section recently struck. Soldiers fired warning shots while searching for Hamas members. The hospital has been a focal point of intense fighting and airstrikes in recent days.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has issued a warning, stating that the United States and China could potentially escalate into conflict if their intricate and competitive relationship is not adeptly managed. The caution comes ahead of the anticipated summit between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in San Francisco during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leadership meeting.
Scheduled for Wednesday, the meeting gives an opportunity for the leaders to address key issues, notably the complex and competitive nature of the US-China relationship. Sullivan emphasized the significance of effectively managing this relationship to prevent it from devolving into conflict or confrontation.
A primary focus of the discussions is expected to be the Taiwan Strait, with President Biden having the chance to engage on strategies for maintaining peace and stability in the region. China's assertive actions in the Indo-Pacific will also be on the agenda.
Taiwan, a contentious topic, is likely to be a key point of discussion, given China's sovereignty claims over the self-ruled island. With elections scheduled for early next year, China has conducted provocative military exercises around Taiwan as a warning against moves toward independence.
In addition to Taiwan, the meeting is expected to cover a range of global issues, including the Israel-Hamas conflict, the war in Ukraine, human rights concerns, and trade disputes. The Biden-Xi dialogue follows a deterioration in bilateral relations, notably marked by Beijing cutting off major communication channels with Washington in August of the previous year.
Efforts to restore dialogue faced setbacks, including an incident in February when a US fighter jet shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon over American airspace. Despite these challenges, the US has engaged in diplomatic efforts, dispatching several high-ranking officials to Beijing in recent months.
National Security Advisor Sullivan highlighted the importance of managing these issues through intense diplomacy. The goal is not only to navigate challenges but also to generate positive outcomes. that yield tangible progress for both nations. One area of potential progress is the issue of fentanyl, with hopes for advancements during the summit.
Sullivan indicated that while the US has managed various issues through diplomacy, the focus is on achieving concrete results that benefit the American people. The summit provides an opportunity for cooperation on shared concerns, potentially paving the way for further collaboration in areas beyond conflict management.
As the leaders prepare to meet in San Francisco, the world watches closely, recognizing the critical role the US and China play in shaping global geopolitics and the potential consequences if their complex relationship is not carefully navigated
Israeli security forces announced the discovery of a Hamas-operated tunnel, claiming it leads to a Gaza hospital. This revelation comes amid criticism of Israeli ground operations impacting medical facilities in the blockaded region. The tunnel, reportedly electrified by solar panels, is situated near the residence of a Hamas naval operations leader responsible for October 7 raids on Israel, according to a military spokesperson.
Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari emphasized that Rantisi Hospital is a mere 200 yards (183 meters) away, supporting allegations that Hamas operates from medical facilities. The Israeli Security Forces accused Hamas of using these tunnels as hiding places, operational bases, and for holding Israeli hostages against their will. The announcement was made on X, formerly Twitter, as part of efforts to showcase evidence of Hamas's alleged exploitation of hospitals for military purposes.
The situation intensifies existing tensions in the region, with Israel asserting that its actions target Hamas operatives while facing criticism for potential impacts on civilian infrastructure.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has categorically ruled out a ceasefire in Gaza, emphasizing that the military operation against Hamas is ongoing and describing the Israeli army's performance as "exceptionally well." Speaking to Fox News, Netanyahu asserted that a ceasefire with Hamas would equate to surrender, and there is no specified timetable for concluding the military offensive.
Netanyahu clarified that Israel does not intend to reoccupy Gaza in the long term. Despite the ongoing conflict, he stated, "We don't seek to govern Gaza. We don't seek to occupy it, but we seek to give it and us a better future." He emphasized the need for Gaza to be "demilitarized, deradicalized, and rebuilt," outlining a vision for a future civilian government in the territory without specifying the details.
Addressing concerns about potential disruptions to diplomatic efforts, particularly with Saudi Arabia amid progressing peace talks, Netanyahu expressed confidence that the conflict would not derail the diplomatic momentum. He suggested that conditions for negotiations would be "ripe" after the destruction of Hamas, and he anticipated even more favorable circumstances for diplomatic discussions post-victory.
The conflict escalated on October 7, with Israel vowing to destroy Hamas following an incursion from Gaza. The subsequent retaliatory actions, including aerial bombings and ground offensives, have resulted in a significant loss of life, with over 10,800 casualties in Gaza, predominantly civilians, including many children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. Netanyahu underscored Israel's commitment to preventing the reemergence of a Hamas-like entity, necessitating readiness to reenter Gaza and "kill the killers."
In summary, Netanyahu's stance underscores a commitment to the ongoing military operation, a rejection of a ceasefire with Hamas, and a vision for Gaza's future centered on demilitarization, deradicalization, and reconstruction, with the goal of establishing a civilian government.
India has officially lodged an appeal with Qatar in response to the recent death penalty verdict handed to eight former Navy personnel. The individuals were arrested in August of the previous year under mysterious circumstances, and the Indian government expressed profound shock at the unexpected judgment delivered last month. Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson for the External Affairs Ministry, revealed on Thursday that Delhi has already initiated the appeal process, emphasizing the confidential nature of the case details, which have only been disclosed to the legal team.
During a scheduled press briefing, Bagchi underscored the unavailability of specific case information and stressed that the judgment's confidentiality has limited its dissemination. He confirmed ongoing efforts to pursue additional legal steps and highlighted the government's commitment to providing comprehensive legal and consular support to the affected individuals' families. Bagchi also cautioned against engaging in speculation due to the sensitive nature of the matter.
The External Affairs Ministry spokesperson disclosed that consular access to the eight ex-Navy officers was last granted on Tuesday, indicating the continued diplomatic engagement in the case. Notably, the individuals, who were affiliated with Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services at the time of their arrest, were involved in a private firm providing training and services to Qatar's armed forces. Some reports suggest that the sailors were engaged in a sensitive project related to stealth submarines based on Italian technology, with media speculation pointing towards accusations of spying for Israel.
Among the convicted individuals are decorated officers who previously commanded significant Indian warships, including Navtej Singh Gill, Birendra Kumar Verma, Saurabh Vasisht, Amit Nagpal, Purnendu Tiwari, Sugunakar Pakala, and Sanjeev Gupta. Notably, their trial commenced on March 29 after bail pleas were rejected. The gravity of the situation was underscored by Bagchi's mention of the External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, meeting with the families of the eight Naval officers in Delhi. As the legal proceedings unfold, India remains in close contact with the families and continues to navigate this complex and delicate diplomatic situation.
Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip have resulted in the death of a prominent Hamas weapons manufacturer and multiple fighters, according to the Israeli military. These attacks are part of Israel's ongoing air and ground offensive targeting Hamas's extensive tunnel network beneath the besieged Palestinian enclave. The city of Gaza, which serves as the main stronghold for the Hamas group in the region, is currently surrounded by Israeli forces. The Israeli military claims that their troops have advanced into the heart of this densely populated city, while Hamas has reported that its fighters have inflicted significant losses on Israeli forces.
The Israeli military has specified that two separate airstrikes were responsible for eliminating a leading Hamas armorer, Mahsein Abu Zina, as well as fighters engaged in anti-tank or ground-to-ground rocket fire.
Additionally, there have been reports of clashes between Hamas and Israeli forces near the al-Shati (Beach) refugee camp in Gaza City. The situation remains highly complex and sensitive, with both sides involved in ongoing hostilities.
Israel Defence Force said that it has pounding Gaza with "significant" strikes after cutting it in two, as America's top diplomat pressed a Middle East tour focused on humanitarian aid for the Palestinians. Israeli forces "have encircled Gaza City... Now there exists a south Gaza and a north Gaza," army spokesman Daniel Hagari said. He spoke after US Secretary of State visited the occupied West Bank, Iraq and Cyprus Sunday on a whirlwind tour with the focus on aid for beleaguered civilians in Gaza and preventing attacks by Iran-backed groups on American troops in response to Israel's Gaza war.
Secretary of State Blinken met Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas who denounced what he called "genocide" in Gaza, where the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory said at least 9,770 people, mostly civilians, had been killed in more than four weeks of war.
Add to the trouble, the telecommunications in Gaza cut for a third time, Washington rebuffed calls for a ceasefire and backed Israel's goal of crushing Hamas who staged the worst attack in the country's history on October 7, killing more than 1,400 people, also mostly civilians, and taking over 240 hostages, according to Israeli officials.
Global concern has soared over the spiralling Gaza death toll, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again vowed that "there won't be a ceasefire until the hostages are returned". "Let them remove this from their lexicon. We are saying this to our enemies and to our friends," the veteran right-wing premier said after meeting troops at an air force base. "We will simply continue until we win. We have no alternative."
IDF Soldiers engaged in house-to-house combat on Sunday as tanks and armoured bulldozers churned through the sand in footage released by the army. "This strike is like an earthquake," Gaza City resident Alaa Abu Hasera said in a devastated area where entire blocks have been reduced to rubble.
Israel has distributed leaflets and sent text messages urging Palestinian civilians in northern Gaza to head south, but a US official said Saturday at least 350,000 civilians remained in what is now an urban war zone.
Meanwhile, Abbas denounced "the genocide and destruction suffered by our Palestinian people in Gaza at the hands of Israel's war machine, with no regard for the principles of international law." .
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the founder of the banned Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), has released a video urging Sikhs not to fly with Air India after November 19, claiming their lives could be at risk. Pannun alleges that on that day, there will be a global blockade preventing Air India from operating. He also suggests that Delhi's Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport will be closed on November 19 and renamed as Shahid Beant Singh, Shahid Satwant Singh Khalistan airport once Punjab gains independence.
This is not the first time Pannun has issued threats. In a previous video, he urged Hindu-Canadians to leave Canada amid a diplomatic dispute between India and Canada over the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. In response, Hindu Forum Canada's Lawyers requested the Canadian Immigration Minister, Mark Miller, to ban Pannun from entering Canadian territory, citing the distress and trauma his recent comments have caused within the Hindu community and among Canadian citizens at large.
In September, Khalistani secessionists organized a 'Referendum' in Surrey, British Columbia, where Pannun was present, and he made provocative statements against Indian leaders, challenging India's territorial integrity. Tensions between India and Canada escalated when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused "agents of the Indian government" of being involved in Nijjar's killing. India rejected these allegations as "absurd and motivated," leading to a diplomatic spat with Canada.
The situation underscores the ongoing challenges related to Sikh separatism, diplomatic relations, and the need for addressing the grievances of various communities within Canada. It is vital for governments to address such issues through diplomatic channels, ensuring the safety and security of all residents while respecting international norms and agreements.
It will be interesting to see what action Canada government takes to stop terror activities in their country after the video is getting circulated world wide on various social media channels.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will not go to the Enforcement Directorate's office today for giving his statement on the Delhi liquor policy case, sources said. Mr Kejriwal was scheduled to appear before the central probe agency's Delhi office at 11 am, but he wrote a letter to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) asking to take back the summons to him, calling it "illegal and politically motivated".
The ED is likely to issue fresh summons to Mr Kejriwal, who is going to Madhya Pradesh to campaign for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ahead of the state election.
A person can skip ED summons a maximum of three times, after which the ED can get a non-bailable warrant. The ED can also issue summons under the stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act, or PMLA.
Mr Kejriwal, meantime, has the option to request for a pre-arrest bail and challenge the summons in court.
The ED's notice is "illegal and politically motivated, sent at the behest of the BJP," Mr Kejriwal said in the letter, asking the same central probe agency that arrested his former deputy Manish Sisodia to "take back the notice immediately".
"The said summons does not specify whether I am being summoned as an individual or in my official capacity as Chief Minister of Delhi or as National Convenor of AAP and appears to be like a fishing and roving inquiry," Mr Kejriwal said in the two-page letter to the ED.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has also alleged the centre wants to arrest Mr Kejriwal in a politically motivated case.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported that they had conducted over 11,000 strikes on targets associated with terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the conflict on October 7th. This amounted to an average of more than 440 strikes per day during the first 25 days of the war. The IDF emphasized that they were not targeting civilians and were responding to an attack by Hamas on October 7th that resulted in the death of 1,400 people.
However, there have been instances where Israeli strikes caused casualties among civilians and significant damage to densely populated areas, such as the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza. In one specific incident, an Israeli strike targeted a Hamas commander, Ibrahim Biari, in a building near a school, medical center, and government offices in Jabalya, resulting in casualties and damage.
Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, denied the presence of one of its leaders in the refugee camp and accused Israel of committing what they described as a "heinous crime" against civilians, including children and women in Jabalya.
The conflict has had a devastating impact, with a reported death toll of more than 8,400 people in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, which relies on information from the Hamas-controlled enclave. It's important to note that the situation in the region is highly complex and contentious, with both sides presenting different narratives and perspectives on the ongoing conflict.