All eyes in Tamil Nadu were on the meeting between Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday. Under-pressure following largescale protests across Tamil Nadu over the jallikattu issue, Panneerselvam flew to New Delhi to meet with the PM.
Panneerselvam arrived at the Prime Ministerâ€™s 7 Kalyan Marg. residence at 10:30am for his meeting.
After the meeting, the PMO issued a statement saying: While appreciating the cultural significance of Jallikattu, the Prime Minister observed that the matter is presently sub-judice.The ban imposed on Jallikattu by the Supreme Court came up for discussion.
However, the PMO took to Twitter say that the Centre would support steps taken by the state government on the jallikattu issue.
The Centre would be supportive of steps taken by the State Government.â€” PMO India (@PMOIndia) January 19, 2017
Keeping the drought situation in mind, the PMO also tweeted to say that a team would be sent to Tamil Nadu to study situation.
PM @narendramodi assured CM Paneerselvam that all possible assistance would be provided to the State to address the drought situation.â€” PMO India (@PMOIndia) January 19, 2017
Following his meeting with the Prime Minister, O Panneerselvam spoke to reporters saying that they had discussed the two crucial issues of the jallikattu ban and the drought situation in the state.
Reiterating the state's stance, the CM said, "We all want an emergency ordinance to be brought for reinstating jallikattu."
"The Prime Minister has assured support to whatever Tamil Nadu chooses to do,â€ť said OPS echoing the PMO.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the CM had said that he would urge Modi to pass an emergency ordinance to allow the bull-taming sport in Tamil Nadu. Appealing to the protesters to call off their agitation, OPS said, â€śOnly the centre has the power to do something now because the Supreme Court has banned it. If jallikattu should happen before the Supreme Court verdict comes, only the centre has the authority to rectify the law.â€ť
Before flying out to New Delhi, OPS told reporters that he had met student representatives and listen to their demands. He also added that they were satisfied with his explanation.
However, students said they will give up their protest only after a â€śfruitfulâ€ť meeting between the CM and the PM.
This is Panneerselvamâ€™s second meeting with the Prime Minister in a month, having met Modi on December 19 following Cyclone Vardah.
He had also issued a letter to the PM on January 9, ahead of Pongal, requesting that an emergency ordinance be passed before the festival, when jallikattu is traditionally held.
TN CM O Panneerselvam leaves for Delhi, to meet PM Narendra Modi tomorrow at 10:30 am, to hold discussions on Jallikattu Protest.
AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala had also issued a statement on Wednesday promising to reign in animal rights organisation, PETA.
â€śPETA, an organisation based abroad is targeting Tamil culture. It was the DMK and Congress government that gave legal recognition to PETA by adding the bull in the performance animals list,â€ť she stated.
Sasikala also promised to adopt all legal measures to ensure that the bull is taken off the performance animals list, stating, â€śThe laws are meant to serve the people, the people are not meant to serve the laws.â€ť
Jallikattu was banned by the Supreme Court in May 2014. The court held that bulls cannot be used as performing animals either for Jallikattu or for bullock cart races anywhere in the country. Following this the central government had passed a notification exempting Jallikattu from the law, which has since been stayed by the apex court.
In January 2016, the Centre had issued a notification allowing the bull to be used in traditional sports such as jallikattu and rekla, with some restrictions. However, just three days before Pongal last year, the Supreme Court had stayed this notification while hearing petitions filed by Animal Welfare Board of India, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and a Bangalore-based NGO. The apex court has reserved orders on the case.
The massive protests over the last few days began with a demonstration in Alanganallur in Madurai and spread to other parts of the state following the detention of supporters. Students and youth from various citizensâ€™ groups have been at the forefront of the protests, demanding that the ban on jallikattu be lifted.