From getting rid of some Muslim names of places to promising a “grand” statue of the Hindu god Ram, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party is making passionate appeals to its hard-core Hindu nationalist base in the most politically important state ahead of a national election next year.
Rahul Gandhi on Saturday met with former and serving employees of the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited or HAL, amid allegations and counter-allegations over the Rafale fighter jet deal and its offset clause. “HAL is not just a company. When India got independence, India built some strategic assets to enter specific areas. HAL is a strategic asset to take India into aerospace,” Rahul Gandhi said at the meeting.
Farooq Haider Khan, the prime minister of the Azad Kashmir region controlled by Pakistan, said his civilian helicopter was fired upon by Indian army from across the “Line of Control”, which acts as a de facto border between the two countries.
“The Indian army fired to show that Pakistan had violated their airspace,” Farooq Haider Khan’s office said in a statement, but added “when the firing took place, we were within our own airspace.”