Following JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar’s rejection to the idea of supporting his wife and former chief minister Rabri Devi’s candidature to the Rajya Sabha, the beleaguered RJD chief’s desire to retain the spacious 25 Tughlaq Road residence seems to have been dashed.
Membership to the council of states for Rabri would have enabled her to retain the bungalow allotted to Prasad in 2004, when he had been elevated as the Railways Minister.
Ahead of the by-elections to 10 assembly constituencies scheduled within six months and the assembly elections in 2015, Kumar has refrained from identifying with the RJD’s first family by backing Rabri’s bid to make an entry into the upper house of parliament, JD (U) sources said.
To prevent Prasad the trouble of shifting houses, the RJD core group is exploring other options including the possibility of having the bungalow allotted in the name of party MP from Munger, Jai Prakash Narain Yadav – a five-term legislator in the Bihar assembly and the state minister for Water Resources in the UPA-I term from 2004-09.
If this plan works, Prasad can remain undisturbed at Tughlaq Road without having to pay market rent, while Yadav can shift to the accommodation that Pappu Yadav (RJD MP from Madhepura) will get, while Pappu can move in with wife Ranjeeta Ranjan (Congress MP from Supoul).
The other option is to have the Tughlaq Road bungalow allotted in the name of party Rajya Sabha MP Prem Chand Gupta. IN this case, Gupta will need to shift to a private accommodation.
Since he lost membership of the Lok Sabha eight months back, Prasad has been staying at the Tughlaq Road residence by paying a monthly market rent of Rs. 1,06,603. In one of its last decisions, the UPA government had permitted Prasad to retain the bungalow until October 2014.
Among other political veterans who will need to move out includes RLD chief Ajit Singh – who has been staying at 12 Tughlaq Road for more than three decades. The bungalow was allotted to Singh’s late father and former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh in July 1979.
In all, the Central Public Works Department has so far issued notices to 52 former MPs to vacate their houses, sources said.