LALU’S BIRDS FLY THE COOP

India Today - - UPFRONT -

Patna Zoo has been re­leas­ing pea­cocks into their nat­u­ral habi­tat, which seems to in­clude 10, Cir­cu­lar Road, the com­pound of RJD pres­i­dent Lalu Prasad Ya­dav. A pea­cock and pea­hen were moved from the zoo to Ya­dav’s house, only for both of them to es­cape hours later. “They flew away,” Ya­dav was re­ported to have said for­lornly. In­ci­den­tally, Ya­dav’s el­dest son, Tej

Pratap, is the state’s en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter, whose purview in­cludes the zoo. Tej Pratap, fa­mously, en­joys dress­ing up as Kr­ishna, pea­cock feather tucked into head­dress. Re­cently, he was filmed play­ing the flute in Patna, cows swish­ing their tails in the back­ground. “Aap toh Kis­han kan­haiya ho gaye hain,” the prime min­is­ter teased him at a lunch with Ni­tish Ku­mar.

The birds are a pro­tected species. Had the pea­cocks not es­caped, their pres­ence in Lalu’s house might have raised un­com­fort­able ques­tions. All’s well that ends well. Or some­thing.

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