Political uncertainty is a key risk for markets in the New Year. Investors are eager for cues on what's in store for the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party government in the forthcoming General Elections. A big event in this regard was the four state elections whose results were announced earlier this month.
While there are no elections before the Lok Sabha polls now, investors have devised an innovative way for taking further political cues. "The box office collection and viewer reviews for The Accidental Prime Minister will be a clue on what the voter mood is," quipped a fund manager. The film is based on a book on the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and has been in the line of fire ever since its trailer was released on the social media a few days back.
Waking up from slumber
With the current Lok Sabha session coming to a close, several Members of Parliament have suddenly woken up to burnish their credentials as a member of the House. On Friday, members submitted over 85 private members' Bills on various issues. These included Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Parvesh Sahib Singh seeking a ban on serving meat in government meetings and functions and grant of equal rights to the LGBT community to serve in the Armed Forces. Another member Anurag Thakur introduced a Bill that sought to take steps to prevent suicides. Nishikant Dubey, on the other hand, sought a Bill on cow protection and for including Vedic studies in school curriculum. Nationalist Congress Party member Supriya Sule came up with a Bill for setting up an Employees' Welfare Authority. The bill sought to confer rights on every employee to disconnect from work-related telephone calls and emails beyond work hours and on holidays; and further refuse to answer calls and emails outside work hours.
FILE PHOTO: Devotees take a holy dip in the Kshipra during the Simhastha Maha Kumbh Mela in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, on May 6 | PHOTO: PTI
Kumbh attracts visitors in millions. It is a logistical challenge for the organisers where to put them up. This time, the Inland Waterways Authority of India has chipped in to help them. In a first for such a mega festival, it has set up four ghats near Prayagraj on the Ganga for river ferries to dock. This is expected to pull millions of pilgrims out of the town. They will use the ferries to come to the bathing spots on particular days instead of living at the tent towns that Kumbh usually sports.