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New Delhi, Jun 9 (PTI) These are the top stories from the northern region at 8.30 pm.

DEL50 PRASADA-2NDLD BJP Congress leader Jitin Prasada joins BJP New Delhi: Congress leader Jitin Prasada joined the BJP on Wednesday, in a boost to the saffron party as it works to strengthen its social coalition ahead of assembly elections in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh early next year.

DEL26 PRASADA-CONGRESS Big jolt for Congress as Prasada quits party ahead of Uttar Pradesh polls New Delhi: Amid continued infighting in its Punjab and Rajasthan units, the Congress suffered a major jolt on Wednesday as it lost Jitin Prasada, a prominent young face from Uttar Pradesh, to the BJP.

DES44 UP-ACCIDENT-2NDLD TOLL Death toll in Kanpur road accident rises to 18 Kanpur: The death toll in the Kanpur road accident, wherein a double-decker bus and a loader ferrying factory workers collided head-on, has climbed to 18, officials said on Wednesday.

DES43 UP-MOCK-DRILL-SUSPEND Mock oxygen drill: Hospital licence suspended, patients shifted out Agra: All patients were shifted out from a private hospital here and its licence suspended on Wednesday after it allegedly conducted a 'mock drill' by cutting off oxygen supply for five minutes to 'segregate' the critical patients, official said. DES51 UP-VIRUS-CASES 89 deaths, 709 fresh virus cases in UP Lucknow: Eighty-nine more people died from coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday as 709 fresh cases pushed the state’s infection count to 17,00,476, according to a government release.

DEL53 PB-GANGSTERS-KILLED Two gangsters shot dead by Punjab police in Kolkata Chandigarh: Punjab police gunned down two gangsters, who were involved in killing policemen, in an operation in Kolkata, a senior police officer said on Wednesday.

DES35 PB-FARMERS-BADAL Hold unconditional talks with farmers: Badal to Tomar Chandigarh: Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday called on Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar to hold unconditional talks with farmers, instead of “rubbing salt” into their wounds by rejecting their demand for the repeal of the Centre’s contentious farm laws.

DES31 PB-SINGER Punjabi singer, his 3 friends arrested for violating night curfew Phagwara: Police on Wednesday arrested a Punjabi singer and his three friends for allegedly violating Covid-induced night curfew by celebrating his birthday with 'band-baja' here, police said.

DES30 HR-FARMERS-SURJEWALA Tomar's statement over talks with farmers reflective of power-drunk govt: Surjewala Jind (Har): Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala on Wednesday condemned Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar’s statement over talks with agitating farmers, saying it showed the face of a dispensation that is “arrogant” and “power-drunk”.

DES26 RJ-PILOT-DISSIDENCE Rajasthan BJP leader says 'anything can happen any time' amid signs of discontent within Congress Jaipur: The BJP took a potshot at Congress leader Sachin Pilot amid signs that dissidence is resurfacing in Rajasthan's ruling party nearly a year after it managed to stave off a rebellion by the Pilot camp.

DES49 HP-VIRUS-CASES HP: 15 Covid deaths, 554 new cases Shimla: Fifteen more people died from COVID-19 in Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday as 554 fresh cases pushed the state’s infection count to 1,96,905, an official said. RDK RDK

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