Demand to exit WTO

A curious demand of farmers this time during their “Delhi Chalo” protest is that India should withdraw from the World Trade Organization (WTO). A little bird says farmers have come up with this demand since the Government and others have been arguing that India will fall foul of the WTO if a legal guarantee for minimum support prices is provided. So, farmers now have come up with a counter, though officials will likely explain to the growers the advantage they derive from the WTO.

Big banks’ no-poach pact

Recently, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank reportedly locked arms in a ‘no-poach’ promise, keeping their junior wizards from wandering into rival enchanted towers. It’s all handshakes and nods as they try to put a lid on the bubbling cauldron of attrition. But this brotherhood might be skating on thin regulatory ice. Such pacts could raise eyebrows of the competition watchdog as they are perceived anti-competitive for labour markets. Will Competition Commission of India take suo moto cognisance of this ‘cartel’ and initiate a probe? Only time will tell.

Contesting polls

Ministers in the Siddaramaiah government in Karnataka are trying to keep a low profile in party affairs ahead of parliamentary polls.

While Congress’s high command is insisting that several sitting ministers contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, they are loath to take the plunge. Specially after a spate of psephologists came up with predictions that the BJP-JDS combine, which have come together in an alliance, is ahead. A senior minister in the State who didn’t want to be identified said, “Neither I nor any close members of my family are interested in contesting. If I win, I will have to move to the Centre to be in the Opposition; if I lose, I will have to give up my Cabinet berth. Why fight a losing battle?” Now over to the high command to crack the whip.

What’s in a name?

Ullu Digital, which has filed papers to raise ₹150 crore, has attracted investors’ interest more for its name than the business model. Touted as the largest SME IPO, the over-the-top adult content streaming app’s revenue has more than doubled to ₹93 crore and profits zoomed over three times to ₹15 crore last fiscal. Given the business potential, investors hope Ullu will deliver even after the listing and does not make them its namesake.

Name matters

A pro-Hindu outfit recently moved the Calcutta High Court over the naming of a lion and lioness at the Siliguri Zoo in West Bengal. According to the outfit, the lioness has been named ‘Sita’ while the lion is called ‘Akbar’.

The outfit has moved court claiming that the naming is illogical and blasphemous. The two big cats were brought from a zoo in Tripura earlier this month.

Sitting nightmare

AIADMK leaders Edapaddi K Palaniswami (EPS) and O Pannerselvam (OPS) — both staunch loyalists of late J Jayalalithaa — were on the same page during her regime. However, when she died, OPS was briefly made the chief minister, and then EPS took over. Both were at loggerheads over taking control of the party. However, through court order, EPS finally won and OPS was expelled from the party. When the DMK returned to power, an embarrassing situation popped up with both made to sit next to each other in the Legislative Assembly. However, this embarrassment that lasted for 33 months came to an end this week with the Speaker allotting OPS’s seat next to EPS to the latter’s strong supporter RB Udhayakumar. OPS, though pushed to the second row, must be heaving a sigh of relief. EPS must be feeling the same as well.