CHENNAI: At a time when the entire political class in Tamil Nadu has welcomed the Modi government’s decision to allow Jallikattu, former Union minister Jairam Ramesh triggered a controversy on Saturday by describing the traditional sport as a ‘barbaric practice’ that has been permitted to appease a few leaders in the State.
Ramesh’s remarks drew instant condemnation from leaders of the BJP, VCK, Naam Thamzihar Katchi and Thamizhaga Vaazhvurimai Katchi among others. It forced even TNCC president E V K S Elangovan to express regret. He said he would lodge a complaint against Jairam with the high command.
Talking to mediapersons in Bhubaneswar, Jairam said: “the previous UPA regime had banned Jallikattu and other practices and the Supreme Court had also upheld that order in 2014. Now, because elections are coming in Tamil Nadu, to please a few political leaders... the Modi government has gone against the advice of its own Attorney General and decided to allow this practice. It is a barbaric practice. It is complete contempt of the order of the Supreme Court.”
In reaction, BJP State president Tamilisai Soundararajan wondered whether Elangovan would ask Jairam to resign from the Congress or if he himself would resign as TNCC chief. Elangovan admitted that the remarks would hurt the people’s sentiments. He, however, said Jairam had clarified that they were his personal views. VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan said Jairam had made such remarks out of jealousy, unable to bear the goodwill earned by Narendra Modi.