The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Thursday passed a Bill that now legalises holding bullock cart races in the state.

In January, the jallikattu movement had gained momentum in Tamil Nadu – and the government had eventually bowed to public pressure – after which the Shiv Sena had threatened to launch protests across Maharashtra to have the ban on bullock cart racing lifted.

Traditionally, bullock cart races are part of the Pune Festival, which is organised during Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. Its supporters claim that the sport has been around for more than three centuries.

The Supreme Court had banned the practice of bullock cart racing along with jallikattu in 2014.