BJP non-committal on legalising traditional bull-fighting in Goa

Panaji, Jan 22 (IANS) Claiming that the Centre’s recent ordinance, which cleared the decks for staging of the controversial sport Jallikattu, was out of concern for “cultural sentiments” of the people of Tamil Nadu, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday was non-committal on backing a similar ordinance for legalising the traditional sport of ‘Dhirio’ or bull-fighting in Goa.

Asked if the central government would consider an ordinance to legalise bull-fighting in Goa on the lines of the one promulgated in favour of Jallikattu, Naidu said: “We have shown concern to the cultural sentiments of the people of the state and we have co-operated with the state government’s wish. The ordinance is also issued by the state. If such a situation comes in any state, the government will act appropriately.”

Naidu, who is campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party in the February 4 Goa assembly poll, was addressing a press conference here.

Although a banned sport, ‘Dhirio’ or traditional bullfighting is an “open secret” in Goa, with several such fights organised in the coastal open areas and paddy fields.

Jallikattu, which involves chasing of bulls, has evoked protests stretching over several days in Tamil Nadu, which has resulted in the Central government promulgating an ordinance to bypass the ban on it.