New Delhi, Jan 26: The country's first woman Rafale fighter jet pilot Shivangi Singh was part of the Indian Air Force tableau at the Republic Day parade on Wednesday. She is only the second woman fighter jet pilot to be part of the IAF tableau.

Last year, Flight Lieutenant Bhawna Kanth became the first female fighter jet pilot to be part of the IAF tableau.

Singh, who is from Varanasi, joined the IAF in 2017 and was commissioned in the IAF's second batch of women fighter pilots. She had been flying MiG-21 Bison aircraft before flying the Rafale.

She is part of the IAF's Golden Arrows squadron based out of Ambala in Punjab.

The IAF tableau was based on the theme -- 'Indian Air Force transforming for the future'. Scaled down models of Rafale fighter jet, indigenously developed light combat helicopter (LCH) and 3D surveillance radar Aslesha MK-1 were part of the float.

It also featured a scaled down model of MiG-21 aircraft that played a major role in the 1971 war in which India defeated Pakistan, leading to the creation of Bangladesh, as well as a model of India's first indigenously developed aircraft Gnat.

The first batch of Rafale fighter jets arrived on July 29, 2020, nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.

So far, 32 Rafale jets have been delivered to the IAF and four are expected by April this year.

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Bengaluru (PTI): Senior politician Basavaraj Horatti, who recently resigned as the Chairman of Karnataka Legislative Council and MLC, on Wednesday joined the BJP.

He joined the party in the presence of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, BJP national General Secretary C T Ravi, Ministers R Ashoka, Govind Karjol, C C Patil among others.

"Basavaraj Horatti has been a member of the Legislative Council for nearly 45 years and has served as its Chairman and Minister. He is a leader with lot of experience, commands a lot of respect and has been working for the cause of teachers. After deciding to join BJP he met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and resigned from his post and has officially joined the party today," Bommai said.

Speaking to reporters after welcoming the senior leader, he said, BJP is organising a huge programme in Hubballi shortly, to mark his induction into the party.

"His joining has strengthened the party. No one has the record of being an MLC for such a long time in the entire country. It has strengthened the party especially in the north Karnataka region. We will use his experience and will give him all the opportunities and respects he deserves," he added.

With this, Horatti, who has been elected as MLC seven successive times from 1980, has ended his long association with the JD(S).

He is likely to be fielded as the BJP's candidate for the upcoming MLC polls from West Teachers' constituency. Considered to be the senior-most MLC, the 76-year-old was seen as a prominent Lingayat face of the JD(S) from north Karnataka.

He had been education minister in the state, and was elected as the Chairman of the Legislative Council in February 2021.