Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam today reaffirmed that Jallikattu will be held. He also said that he will not back-off on the matter. The CM also hit out at arch-rival DMK for its criticism of the ruling AIADMK on the matter. He targeted the UPA regime, in which DMK was a key constituent, which issued a notification including bulls under the ‘performing animals’ category, making it unable to be used in the sport.
Jallikattu is an event of controlling bull held in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations on Maatu Pongal day. The Chief Minister said his government walked the path laid by his predecessor, the late Jayalalithaa “who had reclaimed and upheld the rights of Tamil Nadu” on issues including the Cauvery dispute and FDI in retail trade.
Panneerselvam also said that “Myself and the the Tamil Nadu government, who follow in the footsteps of Amma (Jayalalithaa), will ensure that Jallikattu is held. We will not backoff even a bit. I would like to assure the people of Tamil Nadu that we will uphold the heritage and culture of the Tamils.”
He also recalled the various court litigations leading to the eventual Supreme Court ban against Jallikattu in 2014. This was upheld by the apex court last year when it dismissed the state’s review petition on the matter.
Panneerselvam also pointed out that Jayalalithaa had constantly pressed the Centre for amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. It also seeked ordinance to hold the sport last year, but to no avail.
Panneerselvam hoped to get ‘justice’ in a Supreme Court case against a 2016 notification by Centre allowing Jallikattu with some conditions. He also said that “People will not be ‘fooled’ by the protests held by DMK on Jallikattu as the “reason for the ban” was that notification which included bulls under the performing animals category.”