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Foes become neighbours

Patna, Aug. 10: Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad are neighbours now.

The two-storeyed 7 Circular Road bungalow, officially allotted to Nitish, is close to 10 Circular Road — the abode of former chief minister Rabri Devi and her husband Lalu Prasad. Nitish shifted to the new address today, a day before addressing two political rallies with Lalu after almost two decades.

Lalu’s RJD, Nitish’s JDU and the Congress have formed a grand alliance for the ensuing bypolls to counter the BJP. Lalu and Nitish are scheduled to address two meetings tomorrow in support of the grand alliance candidates at Hajipur and Mohiuddinnagar.

Coming out of Nitish’s new residence, JDU MLC Sanjay Gandhi said: “People should not make their own stories about this bungalow since it is near 10 Circular Road. It is just a coincidence that Nitishji has been allotted the 7 Circular Road bungalow.”

The bungalows of Nitish and Rabri are on the same lane, separated by 100m.

After the JDU’s debacle in the general election, Nitish had resigned from the post of chief minister. He had vacated the 1 Aney Marg bungalow — the official residence of the chief minister — on June 5 and shifted to 2M Strand Road temporarily because the 7 Circular Road bungalow was under renovation.

Before Nitish shifted to the new address on the auspicious occasion of Rakshabandhan, a proper ritual was conducted. Mahabodhi Mahavihara’s chief priest Bikhshu Chalinda chanted hymns at 7 Circular Road with three other Buddhist monks.

Nitish planted a sapling of Bodhi tree, considered a mark of peace, at his new address. He tied a Raksha Sutra (protection thread) on it.

Security guards have been deployed around the bungalow of Nitish and a doorframe metal detector has been installed. Compared to 2M Strand Road , the new bungalow of Nitish is bigger. He will interact with visitors in the ground floor.