To demand that bullock cart races be restarted in the state, farmers and owners of bullock carts are planning to meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis soon.
On Tuesday, the Akhil Bharatiya Bailgada Sanghatna started its state-wide indefinite protest, demanding that the ban on bullock cart races be lifted. The organisation also handed over a memorandum to District Collector Saurabh Rao.
Bhosari MLA Mahesh Landge, who is spearheading the agitation in Pune, said, “PETA and another animal rights organisations are deliberately opposing lifting of ban on bullock cart races. They are doing so despite the fact that the state government had made a law to allow bullock cart races. The law had also received the Presidential assent. Yet, PETA and other animal rights organisations, whose knowledge about the races is limited to books, have created impediments…”. “Soon, we will meet the Chief Minister to get the ban lifted,” he said.
Landge alleged that PETA was working at “someone else’s behest” and said the organisation was misusing its funds to “mislead the farmers”. The organisation claimed that farmers from Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Alibaug, Ahmednagar and even Vidharba are participating in the indefinite agitation.
Claiming farmers were “upset” with PETA, Landge said, “PETA is trying to teach farmers how to take care of bulls and rear them. Farmers have been doing it for generations… there is no need for outsiders to teach them how to look after their animals…,” he said.
Landge said the Tamil Nadu government has introduced a law for Jalikattu and similarly, the Maharashtra government has brought in a law for bullock cart races. “We want the races to be restarted as per the new law,” he said.