Maharashtra Excise Minister Shambhuraj Desai on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court's verdict upholding the validity of amendment laws allowing 'Jallikattu' and bullock-cart races, and said the state government will provide all assistance to organise bullock-cart races.
State Revenue and Animal Husbandry Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said the SC's verdict was the victory of farmers.
The SC on Thursday upheld the validity of amendment Acts of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka which allowed bull-taming sport 'Jallikattu', bullock-cart races and buffalo racing sport 'Kambala' respectively.
'Jallikattu', also known "eruthazhuvuthal", is a bull-taming sport played in Tamil Nadu as part of the Pongal harvest festival.
The 'Kambala' race, held in Karnataka between November and March, involves a pair of buffaloes tied to a plough and anchored by one person. They are made to run in parallel muddy tracks in a competition in which the fastest team wins.
After the SC's verdict, Desai said, "We will provide all assistance and cooperation to hold bullock-cart races."
Vikhe Patil said the apex court judgement was the victory of farmers.
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The 12-year-old legal battle for resumption of the races was possible because of a collective effort and the Eknath Shinde-led state government played a crucial role in it, he said in a statement.
The bullock-cart races is a matter of sentiments in rural areas as it is an employment generation initiative, the minister said.
The races were banned in 2011 and the state government in 2017 enacted a legislation to restart the races. But, the Bombay High Court stayed the legislation. The SC had refused to lift the stay and the matter was referred to a larger bench, Vikhe Patil said.
He said the state government defended the 2017 legislation before the apex court.
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