Last Updated: May 18, 2023, 18:38 IST
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. (File Photo/Twitter @mieknathshinde)
Bullock-cart races are a matter of sentiment in rural areas and also generate jobs, Vikhe Patil said
The Maharashtra government on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court ruling upholding the state’s amendment Act allowing bullock-cart races, and said it will provide assistance for organising these popular events.
The SC earlier in the day upheld the validity of amendment Acts of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Karnataka which allowed the bull-taming sport ‘Jallikattu’, bullock-cart races, and buffalo racing sport ‘Kambala’ in the three states, respectively.
Maharashtra Excise Minister Shambhuraj Desai welcomed the decision.
“We will provide all assistance and cooperation to hold bullock-cart races,” he told reporters.
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis noted that the amendment Act had been passed when he was chief minister.
“We are extremely happy that the Act enacted by the state when I was chief minister and a report submitted to the court confirming that the bull is a racing animal have been upheld by the apex court. This paves the way for organising bullock-cart races across the state,” he said.
BJP MLA Mahesh Landge and the party’s Member of Legislative Council Gopichand Padalkar took special efforts to ensure the legal victory, he added.
Revenue and Animal Husbandry Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said the SC verdict was the victory of farmers.
The 12-year-old legal battle was enabled by collective efforts and the Eknath Shinde-led state government played a crucial role in it, he said in a statement.
Bullock-cart races are a matter of sentiment in rural areas and also generate jobs, Vikhe Patil said.
The races were banned in 2011. The Maharashtra government then brought in a law to restart the races, but the Bombay High Court stayed it. The SC had refused to lift the stay while referring the matter to a larger bench, he said.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)