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Lalu bids farewell to 1, Anne Marg, finally
February 02, 2006 14:52 IST
Fondly reminiscing the 'sweet memory' of arresting political big fish and Bharatiya Janata Party stalwart L K Advani during his Ram Rath Yatra in the early 1990s, former Chief Ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav and his wife Rabri Devi on Thursday wound up from Bihar symbol of power, the one, Anne Marg residence.
"We have packed up from here and shifted our luggage to 10, Circular Road, the new house allotted to Madam (Rabri Devi). Everything has been shifted except for a few goats and cow dung," Lalu jocularly told media persons, virtually bringing down the curtains on the impasse over the bungalow.
"It did not mean that my family has formally shifted to the new house, earlier occupied by my high-profile brother-in-law and Lok Sabha member Anirudh Prasad alias Sadhu Yadav. I can't help it. According to Hindu calendar Basant Panchami, an auspicious day for moving to a new house, has spilled over two days. The members of the family will shift there on Friday after the puja (prayer) is performed," he said, breaking into laughter.
"Ab Nitishji jaane kyon basant panchmi do din ho gaya (Nitish should know why Basant Panchami has fallen on two days - today and tomorrow)," he quipped.
Showing the outhouse of his former residence, Lalu recalled that it was the place where he burnt midnight oil finalising strategies to arrest senior BJP leader L K Advani and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal. "I got Advani arrested in Samastipur and had him confined to Masanjor guesthouse at the top of a hill," Lalu said.
VHP leaders like Praveen Togadia and Giriraj Kishore were packed off from the airport, Lalu said, adding that it was a different matter that now such leaders were moving freely in the state.
After staying put for over two months, defying the Nitish Kumar government's eviction orders, the duo vacated the quarters saying that they bore no grudge against Nitish or state Building Construction Minister Monazir Hasan.
"I know Nitishji must have faced a lot of difficulties because of the delay in vacating the house but it was unavoidable as the house allotted to Rabri Devi was not ready," Lalu said.
Monazir Hasan had time and again castigated him for not vacating the house despite the notice and even threatened to get them forcibly evicted. "Tum log is date ko final samjho (you can consider this date as final)," Lalu assured reporters who had gathered in large numbers to cover the family's shifting to their new abode.
Going down the memory lane, Lalu said, "From here we sent out the message of communal harmony and peace across the nation, and gave the weaker and deprived sections of the society their due."
He showered praise on Nitish for his gesture in allowing them sufficient time to vacate the bungalow. When asked about the bitter moments of his stay, he said, "Absolutely none. Even when I was arrested in a false and fabricated case of the fodder scam, I did not lose my composure."