New Delhi: Environment minister Anil Madhav Dave said on Tuesday that the government was waiting for the Supreme Court to decide whether Jallikattu, the bull-taming sport popular in Tamil Nadu, should be permitted.

Dave’s comments came a day after Tamil Nadu chief minister O. Panneerselvam wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to pass an ordinance permitting the sport.

“The case is in the Supreme Court. The decision is pending. When the decision is pending, at that time, as a government, we only can wait for the decision. Before the decision, it is difficult to say what can be done. But the moment the decision comes, tomorrow or day after tomorrow, we will take our stand," said Dave.

The environment minister also said he thinks the court will be sensitive to popular sentiment.

ALSO READ: Lift Jallikattu ban through ordinance, Tamil Nadu urges Centre

Panneerselvam, in his letter to Modi on Monday, wrote that the Pongal festival was less than a week away and noted that Jallikattu was an integral part of the festivities.

“...considering the urgency of the issue, the government of India should consider promulgating an ordinance removing the legal impediments enabling the conduct of Jallikattu during Pongal, 2017," he wrote.

Interestingly, SC has repeatedly voiced its dislike for jallikuttu and passed orders against it. It has already ruled twice—in May 2014 and January 2016—against Jallikattu. Due to this, Jallikattu was not conducted in Tamil Nadu in 2015 and 2016.

But the discussion was revived last year in January when the environment ministry, just ahead of the Tamil Nadu elections, brought a notification allowing Jallikattu and bullock cart races in the country. It was challenged in the SC.

ALSO READ: Supreme Court refuses to vacate stay on Jallikattu

At present, the case is still in SC, which has reserved its verdict in the plea challenging the ministry’s 2016 notification.

Dave stressed that the problem started when the Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in 2011 came out with an order including bulls in the list of animals prohibited from being exhibited or trained as performing animals under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

“We have given in our reply to Supreme Court that it will be better that we remove bulls from list. We removed it as well. But then again SC took cognizance. If violence is not there...and if it is a tradition of the society, we will have to look into it," Dave added.

Close