BKU leader quits SC panel; ninth round of talks between protesting farmers, Centre todayAlso Read - Samyukt Kisan Morcha Likely To Meet In Delhi Tomorrow To Re-Start Farmers’ Protests: Report

Bhartiya Kisan Union’s national president Bhupinder Singh Mann has stepped down from the Supreme Court-appointed committee to look into the Centre’s contentious farm laws, saying he did not wish to “compromise farmers’ interests”. The matter will now go back to the court for further orders. Protesting farmer leaders on Thursday said they will attend the ninth round of talks with the government amid indication that it may be last such meeting with the Centre, but added that they don’t have much hope as they will not settle for anything less than the repeal of the contentious farm laws. Since a Supreme Court-appointed panel on farm laws is likely to hold its first meeting on January 19, the meeting on Friday between with the government and the unions may be the last one. Also Read - Deep Sidhu's Last Picture With Girlfriend Reena Rai From Their Valentine's Day Celebration Goes Viral

Anna Hazare says he will launch hunger strike on farmers’ issues in Delhi Also Read - Deep Sidhu, Punjabi Actor in Centre of Farm Protest At Red Fort, Dies in Accident; CM Channi Expresses Grief

Activist Anna Hazare on Thursday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and reiterated his decision to launch “the last hunger strike” of his life on farmers’ issues in Delhi by January end. The letter comes even as farmer unions are agitating on Delhi borders against the Centre’s new farm laws. He will stage the fast by month-end, 83-year-old Hazare said, without specifying the date. On December 14, Hazare had written to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, warning of a hunger strike if his demands including the implementation of the M S Swaminathan Committee’s recommendations on agriculture were not fulfilled. Another demand made by him was grant of autonomy to the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices.

Delhi civic bodies lift ban on sale, storage of poultry or processed chicken meat

All three municipal corporations in Delhi on Thursday lifted the ban imposed on sale, storage of poultry or processed chicken meat after samples taken from markets tested negative for bird flu, officials said. East Delhi Mayor Nirmal Jain said the decision was taken during an online meeting held in the evening, chaired by Union minister Giriraj Singh, which was also attended by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, two other mayors and the commissioners of the three corporations.

Befitting reply if any “superpower” hurts national pride: Rajnath Singh

India does not want a war but its soldiers are capable of giving befitting reply if any ‘superpower’ hurts the country’s pride, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday amid the eight-month-old border standoff with China. “We don’t want war and we are in favour of protecting everyone’s security but I want to say this in clear terms that if any superpower wants to hurt our pride then our soldiers are capable of giving them a befitting reply,” Singh said. The Defence minister insisted that India never wanted conflict with any nation and preferred to maintain peace and friendly ties with its neighbours.

Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez to join star-studded gig at Joe Biden’s Presidential Inauguration

Pop superstar Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem during Joe Biden’s swearing-in as US president on January 20, with Jennifer Lopez also performing at the largely virtual event, it was announced Thursday. The two music icons will headline an inauguration like no other, with security stepped up in Washington against threats by extremist supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump after they attacked the US Capitol last week in a bid to overturn the results of the election. Local authorities are asking people to stay away from the ceremonies to lessen the chances of unrest — and of the swearing-in turning into a Covid-19 superspreader event.