New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday wished speedy recovery to his arch rival Lalu Prasad, who has been admitted in AIIMS, New Delhi following marked deterioration in health and with whom he has shared a love-hate relationship for close to five decades.Also Read - After Criticism, Bihar Plans Major Changes In Its Liquor Prohibition Law. Here's What New Law Proposes

The JD(U) de facto leader also rued the fact that he now had to remain content with news about the ailing RJD supremo gathered from newspapers since his telephonic enquiries about the latter’s health in the recent past had triggered a controversy. Also Read - UP Election 2022: BJP Plays Master Stroke Against Akhilesh Yadav With Joining Of Aparna Yadav; Watch Video

“It is my fervent wish that he gets well as soon as possible”, Kumar told reporters when asked about Prasad whom he had dethroned in 2005, less than two decades after having supported his ascent in the states politics. Also Read - UP Election 2022: BJP Releases Second List Of Candidates, 46 OBC Leaders To Contest 2022 Assembly Election Under Lotus Symbol; Watch video

The chief minister was talking to journalists outside the JD(U) state headquarters in Patna, where he had gone to pay tributes to former Chief Minister and OBC stalwart Karpoori Thakur on his birth anniversary.

Both Kumar and Prasad consider Thakur to be their political guru.

With a hint of regret in his voice, Kumar added: “I used to frequently call up his personal attendants and enquire about his well being when he had similarly fallen ill in 2018. So many things were said about me because of that”.

Notably, in 2017 Kumar had abruptly walked out of the coalition he had formed with the RJD and the Congress and formed a new government with the BJP.

The soft corner he displayed for Prasad during his illness had triggered speculations that he was feeling uneasy in the BJP-led coalition and seeking a rapprochement with the RJD chief.

Their bitter rivalry notwithstanding, Kumar has often displayed his person affection for Prasad against whom he pulls no punches in the political arena.

Recently, while admonishing his son Tejashwi Yadav for impudence the chief minister had underscored that he has been too charitable with the 31 years old, who was also his former deputy, because he was “mere bhai samaan dost ka beta” (the son of a friend, dear to me like a brother).

Replying to queries about the states budget for the next financial year, which is scheduled to be tabled in the assembly on February 22, the chief minister said the people of Bihar may look forward to more development and many new schemes besides completion of the existing ones.

Jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad was shifted to AIIMS-Delhi in an air ambulance on Saturday after his health condition deteriorated while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Ranchi.

Prasad (72), convicted in fodder scam cases, was undergoing treatment at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) for multiple ailments.

(With inputs from PTI)