RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s love for cows is well known. But, now the Bihar strongman will relish the sight of peacocks roaming around in his sprawling 10, Circular Road bungalow.
On Thursday, a pair of peacocks was brought to his bungalow by official of the local zoo, Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park. The pair consists of one male and one female peacock. “Yes, the (peacock) pair has moved into the residence today. It is really good to see them,” said a close aide of the RJD chief.
However, the Patna zoo’s decision to transfer a pair of peacocks to Prasad’s residence has raised eyebrows, as it is the first time in many years that the majestic bird has been put in a VVIP residence. It may be mentioned that the peacock is a protected bird under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Reports said Patna zoo director Nand Kishore gave a statement to the media that “the peacocks have been sent to the RJD chief’s residence as part of a policy decision to set free the birds (peacocks) in the new capital region to help them roam freely in natural surroundings”.
Senior forest officials were not ready to comment on it, but admitted that “there is a policy to put peacocks in the new capital region housing ministerial bungalows, including chief minister’s residence”. But the question remains: Can a protected bird be kept in a VVIP bungalow?
However, the pair of peacocks will surely add to the attraction of Prasad’s residence, which witnesses heavy footfalls of party workers and VVIPs. During his stint as CM in the 1990s, Prasad used to keep over 50 cows in the cowshed of his official bungalow 1, Aney Marg and show them to visitors with great joy to emphasise his humble roots as also caste identity (of belonging to Yadav community, traditionally engaged in milk production).
After losing power in 2005, Prasad shifted his cowshed to a location near Danapur and no longer keeps cows at the present bungalow.