Jallikattu issue echoes in Tamil Nadu Assembly
Chennai: The jallikattu issue on Wednesday echoed in the Tamil Nadu Assembly with opposition parties demanding a resolution on the matter even as the government slammed DMK and Congress over the ban imposed by the UPA dispensation against the bull-taming sport in 2011.
Finance Minister O Panneerselvam, also Leader of the House, said Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was 'determined' to take legal steps to hold jallikattu in the state.
Soon after the Question Hour ended, opposition DMK sought to raise the issue but Speaker P Dhanapal denied permission saying the party could speak on the matter while participating in the debate to thank the Governor for his address to the House. DMK, led by its Floor Leader M K Stalin, persisted for sometime before staging a walk-out.
CPI(M) and CPI demanded that the government move a resolution in the Assembly urging the Centre to enable conduct of jallikattu even as the Supreme Court had earlier this month stayed a central notification allowing the bull-taming sport to be held coinciding with the Tamil harvest festival of Pongal.
MMK, Congress and PMK also batted for jallikattu, but the national party and DMK came under government criticism. "Congress and DMK have no right to talk about jallikattu as the UPA government had added bull under performing animals (thus banning the sport)," Panneerselvam said but insisted that it was "well-known" that Jayalalithaa was taking all legal steps to hold the sport.
"Amma (Jayalalithaa) is determined to take all legal steps. She will deal with the issue legally," he said. The government of Congress-led UPA, in which DMK was a constituent, had banned jallikattu in 2011, drawing the ire of state political parties and the sport enthusiasts.
The BJP-led NDA government had earlier this month issued a notification allowing jallikattu, besides some other sports involving the animal in certain other states, which was subsequently stayed by the Supreme Court. Protests had rocked Madurai and other southern parts, the hotbed of jallikattu activities, last week seeking that efforts be taken for conducting the sport this year.