The DMK and other parties in Tamil Nadu have accused BJP leader and Union Minister for Road Transport and Shipping, Pon Radhakrishnan, of making empty promises that Jallikattu would be held in 2017. With the anger against BJP growing in the state, the minister issued an unconditional apology on Saturday.
"The Supreme Court had banned to conduct thousands of years old Jallikattu which is not only inalienable part of Tamil community & its culture, but also an expression of the valor of Tamils. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with the noble intention to find an amicable solution for conducting Jallikattu in Tamilnadu, passed an order thereby removed bull from the list of exhibiting animals on January 8, 2016, by passing an order exempting Jallikattu, thus effectively reversing the ban."
He then went on to blame the Congress and said that vested interests had got the notification stayed in the Supreme Court.
"The Government is prepared to make Jallikattu happen through various legislations and amendments which is known to all those who are aware of the happenings. However subsequent to such an amendment, if that too faces a ban by the Supreme Court, consequently, then thousands of years ancient Tamil tradition of Jallikattu itself could face irredeemable peril, is the fear that plagues those who are in know of the things," he said.
He added that he had remained steadfast in the belief that Tamilians would be able to celebrate this Pongal with Jallikattu and had been confident that the court's judgement would come.
"With a heavy heart, I bow my head as I have not been able to fulfill the promise I made to my Tamil people and that I have belied their hopes. And for this failing of mine, I submit my unconditional apologies to my dearest Tamil brethren," he said.
Pon Radhakrishnan also said that he would not celebrate Pongal this year owing to the drought. He also pledged his one month salary including allowances to farmers in the state.