Pithapuram (East Godavari): Even after the High Court issued a strict warning against conducting cockfights, TDP MP Thota Narasimham and MLA NVSN Varma on Thursday organised one in full view of revenue and police officials.

The ruling party MP and MLA participated in the cockfight as competitors by taking sides. They justified their act saying it is a part of Sankranti celebrations at the valedictory function of the Janmabhoomi-Maa Vooru program held at Rajiv Gandhi Municipal High School here on Thursday.

A huge crowd from neighbouring mandals and villages gathered at the venue as the MP and MLA released the cocks into the battlefield. The cocks fought as people cheered on. The police and revenue officials present at the event remained silent spectators instead of taking action against the lawmakers who violated law.

MLA Varma is reported to have gone on record declaring at Uppada that stopping cockfights was impossible. Thursday's cockfight event at the state government’s prestigious Janmabhoomi programme has invited severe criticism from the Opposition parties.

The people’s representatives took part in the Janmabhoomi programme and distributed tractors among the farmers under the Rythu Ratham programme and went round an exhibition put up by the ICDS. RDO of Kakinada Raghubabu, ZPTC members Barla Appa Rao, Madiki Sanyasi Rao, MPP M Vijayalata, municipal chairman Karanam Chinna Rao and others participated in the programme.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is about to pronounce a judgment in a case challenging the High Court's ban on cockfights on Friday.