Despite difference Sharad Yadav was ‘bade bhai’: Lalu

Patna: Former comrade-in-arms Lalu Prasad condoling the death of his old rival-turned-ally Sharad Yadav, asserted that the socialist leader remained his “bade bhai” (elder brother) and their mutual differences “never resulted in any type of bitterness”.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad who had lost a bitterly contested electoral battle for the Madhepura Lok Sabha seat to his former Socialist friend Sharad Yadav in 1999, said in a video statement from his hospital bed in Singapore on Friday, “He, besides late Mulayam Singh Yadav, Nitish Kumar and myself learnt politics of socialism from Ram Manohar Lohia and Karpoori Thakur.”.
“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.
Politicians of Bihar, cutting across party lines, expressed condolences over the death of veteran socialist leader Sharad Yadav.
The former Union minister died at a private hospital in Gurugram on Thursday night after he was brought to the medical establishment in an unconscious and unresponsive state. He had collapsed at his Chhatarpur residence. He was 75, and is survived by his wife, son and daughter.
Condoling Yadav’s death, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar tweeted, “I had a very deep relationship with Sharad Yadav Ji. I am shocked and saddened by the news of his demise. He was a strong socialist leader. His demise has caused an irreparable loss in the social and political field. May his soul rest in peace.”.
Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, in a video message on Twitter, said it was a great loss for the socialist fraternity. “It is a great loss for the socialist fraternity, coming close on the heels of the demise of Netaji (Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav),” he said.
A condolence message was also issued by senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi and former deputy CM who recalled the key role played by Yadav, then the NDA convenor, in his appointment to the post when the JD(U)-BJP combine came to power in Bihar in 2005.
“Sharad Yadav was my political guardian. He played an important role in my appointment as deputy CM. Bihar will never forget his contributions,” tweeted Modi.
Notably, Yadav was said to have been ambivalent about the decision to snap ties with BJP in 2013, which he had to accede to as the then JD(U) national president upon the insistence of Nitish Kumar.
Kumar’s decision to realign with the BJP four years later caused Yadav to revolt, resulting in the latter’s disqualification from the Rajya Sabha. —PTI

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