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Rabri wants fruits of labour from Nitish

Rabri had planted her favourite fruits, mangoes and litchis, at her official residence hoping that she would savour them later. But her hopes of that dashed with her defeat in 2005. Now, she wants the fruits from CM Nitish--the current occupant of 1, Anne Marg, reports Aloke Chatterjee.
Hindustan Times | By Aloke Chatterjee, Patna
UPDATED ON JUN 08, 2008 12:57 AM IST

It is well known that mangoes and litchis are two of former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi’s favourite fruits.

She had planted the choicest mango and litchi varieties in her once official residence 1, Anne Marg, in the fond hope that after the hurly burly of the budget session, she would savour her favourite fruits in the cool confines of air-conditioned comfort.

However, the outcome of the 2005 Assembly polls and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar dashed her hopes. After becoming chief minister, Nitish made it a prestige issue to shift residence to 1, Anne Marg, claiming it had the necessary infrastructure befitting the status of the CM.

But with the budget session ending several weeks ago and summer at its peak, Nitish has still not bothered to ‘gift’ the mangoes and litchis to Rabri. However, Rabri’s grumbling has reached Nitish, who quickly responded that fruit trees planted by the former CM are diseased. “That’s why I am unable to gift her favourite fruits to her,” Nitish is understood to have confided to his confidants.

He said that one fruit tree planted by Rabri Devi is still not touched by disease. He promised to deliver a gift pack as soon as its fruits are ripe. However, Rabri Devi is worried about the fate of several trees that she had so lovingly planted and tended to during her 15-year stay at 1, Anne Marg.

“At least I have a right to fruits from trees I planted with my own hands,” she rues. Interestingly, trees bearing luscious mangoes also surround the present official residence of Rabri Devi on Circular Road. Maybe Rabri Devi finds the taste of Circular Road mangoes not as good as those in 1, Anne Marg!

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