"My good wishes to Vajpayeeji on his birthday. It was a pleasure working under him," Kumar told reporters in Patna.

Nitish Kumar, whose JD-U was a former ally of the BJP, assailed the present generation of BJP leaders for ‘going away’ from the code of ethics Vajpayee had devised for running coalition governments, which, he claimed, forced him to part company with them.

"The present generation of BJP leaders has gone away from the code, which forced people like me to part company with them (BJP)," he said.

He had great affection for his colleagues, particularly younger ones like him, Kumar said praising Vajpayee's personality.

Kumar had served in the NDA Cabinet of Vajpayee in various capacities as railway, agriculture and surface transport ministers.

The JD-U had broken away from the BJP after staying together for 17 years on June 16 over elevation of Narendra Modi in the BJP.

(Agencies)

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