Former CM Jayalalithaa to blame for jallikattu ban says MK Stalin

Minister M Venkaiah Naidu appeals Jallikattu protesters in Tamil Nadu to call off agitation.

Madurai: The Opposition Leader M K. Stalin on Tuesday squarely blamed the AIADMK government for Tamil Nadu losing its traditional sport of jallikattu while also accusing the Central Government of not respecting the sentiments of Tamils.

Speaking at a protest meeting in Alanganallur near Madurai demanding the restoration of rights of the Tamil people to conduct jallikattu during the Pongal season, Stalin said the Supreme Court took a stringent stand against the conduct of the annual event only because the AIADMK, after it took charge in 2011, failed to follow the guidelines laid down by the court in an earlier order. “The AIADMK government is not concerned about safeguarding the Tamil culture, tradition, and the self respect of Tamil people,” he said.

 Stating that DMK always stood for upholding the rights of Tamil people, he added, “When the apex court announced guidelines for the conduct of jallikattu in 2010, the then DMK government headed by Kalaignar (Karunanidhi) had passed a law after consulting legal experts for the conduct of the sport. And we had successfully organised the annual bull-taming sports following those guidelines,” he claimed.

However, the guidelines were not followed after late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa assumed power in 2011. “I am saying this with evidences. The apex court imposed the ban against jallikattu in May 2014 based on an inspection report submitted by two members of Animal Welfare Board of India who had visited Tamil Nadu to examine whether the guidelines were followed in conducting the sport,” Stalin alleged.

Both the AIADMK and BJP Governments have been spreading false propaganda against DMK and Congress for the ban only because the verdict was passed when the UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh was in power at the Centre, he said. He suggested that the state government pass an ordinance for the conduct of the sport this year.

Pointing out the double standard of the BJP Government on issues pertaining to Tamil people, Stalin said that the when the apex court passed an order directing the centre to set up the Cauvery Management Board, the government categorically told the court that it had no jurisdiction to direct them to constitute the board. “The people need to understand that the central government can place a similar argument in the court on jallikattu issue,” he said.

Recalling the promise made by the Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan to the DMK chief Karunanidhi for the conduct of jallikattu when the latter called for a protest fast last year, Stalin said,” We dropped the protest fast believing his words, but it still remain only as a promise,”.

Instead of trivialising the issue, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi should respect the sentiments of Tamil people, and take concrete steps to lift the ban against the sport, said Stalin.