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Cut out for the job? Gandhi's supporters rally in New Delhi. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

India's opposition Congress Party won surprise victories this week in three states core to the support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Why it matters, from Carnegie's Milan Vaishnav: "These victories in the electorally critical Hindi heartland states signal a revival for India’s premier opposition party headed into next spring’s general election."

The latest: Gandhi hinted at an anti-Modi electoral alliance, saying: "With a resurgent Congress party and a combined opposition, it is going to be pretty difficult for the prime minister to win."

  • "They reinforce the position of Congress President Rahul Gandhi and boost the allure of the Congress as a potential coalition ally in 2019. Northern India is the source of the overwhelming majority of the BJP’s current parliamentary tally."

The bottom line: "If the Congress can claw back a sizable share of these seats next spring, the BJP will struggle to win enough seats to form the next government."

Go deeper

29 mins ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."