Rahul Gandhi said “It was a lovely experience to see Tamil culture and history in action. Also happy to see that Jallikattu is being organised in a systematic and safe matter, ensuring the safety of bulls and youngsters.” He also added “I have specifically come here because Tamil language, culture and history are important for the future of India and needs to be respected by everyone in India. I have come here to give a message to those who think they can take a shot at Tamil people. I have received love and affection and it is my duty to stand with them and protect their culture.”
BJP take this opportunity to slam the Congress because of their double standards, citing that the party oppose to Jallikattu in 2011, when the Congress-led UPA was in power at the Centre, the environment ministry under Jairam Ramesh had issued a notification banning the use of bulls as a performing animal. However, Jallikattu continued under the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act No 27 of 2009 brought out by the then M Karunanidhi government. The Tamil Nadu law had been brought out in response to a Madras High Court ruling of 2006 banning Jallikattu while hearing a petition on rekla (bullock cart) race. It provided for a window of five months between January and May for holding Jallikattu. Things moved again in 2014 during the Lok Sabha election. The Supreme Court in May 2014 struck down the Tamil Nadu law of 2009 banning Jallikattu altogether. Just before the Tamil Nadu Assembly election five years ago, the Narendra Modi government in January 2016 amended the 2011 notification of the environment ministry allowing both Jallikattu and the bullock cart race with certain conditions.
Almost 10 years after the Congress-led UPA government virtually placed a ban on Jallikattu and five years after supporting a ban on the bull-taming sport, Rahul Gandhi attended Jallikattu event in Madurai as part of his opposition to the new central farm laws. Ahead of Assembly elections in the state, the Congress just wanted to firm their ground says political experts.