Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad on Thursday condoled the death of former Union minister Sharad Yadav and asserted that their mutual differences "never resulted in any type of bitterness".
Prasad, who has engaged in electoral battles with Yadav in the Madhepura Lok Sabha seat, issued a video statement from his hospital bed in Singapore where he is recuperating from a kidney transplant surgery.
Referring to Sharad Yadav as "bade bhai" (big brother), Prasad recalled his old association with the deceased leader.
अभी सिंगापुर में रात्रि में के समय शरद भाई के जाने का दुखद समाचार मिला। बहुत बेबस महसूस कर रहा हूँ। आने से पहले मुलाक़ात हुई थी और कितना कुछ हमने सोचा था समाजवादी व सामाजिक न्याय की धारा के संदर्भ में।— Lalu Prasad Yadav (@laluprasadrjd) January 12, 2023
शरद भाई...ऐसे अलविदा नही कहना था। भावपूर्ण श्रद्धांजलि! pic.twitter.com/t17VHO24Rg
"He, besides late Mulayam Singh Yadav, Nitish Kumar and myself learnt politics of socialism from Ram Manohar Lohia and Karpoori Thakur," said the septuagenarian.
"On many an occasion, Sharad Yadav and I fought with each other. But our disagreements never led to any bitterness," said the RJD supremo who had held out a helping hand to Yadav when the latter was struggling to come out of political wilderness.
Forced out of the JD(U), which he once headed, following a tiff with the de facto leader, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Yadav had floated Loktantrik Janata Dal. At Prasad's instance, he was given an RJD ticket in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and his daughter Subhashini Yadav was fielded by the party in the assembly polls a year later.
In 2022, Yadav merged his party with the RJD.