Rapid Action Force personnel deployed at the road leading to the residence of the ailing Shiv Sena chief, Mr Bal Thackeray in Mumbai on Thursday. (Indranil Mukherjee | AFP)
MUMBAI: The condition of Shiv Sena chief Mr Bal Thackeray, who is critically ill, was showing some improvement, senior party leaders said on Thursday evening.
“He is showing some signs of improvement,” was the terse reply of Sena leader and former Lok Sabha speaker, Mr Manohar Joshi to reporters’ query outside the Thackeray residence ‘Matoshree’ in suburban Bandra.
The MP and Sena spokesperson, Mr Sanjay Raut said earlier that there was some improvement in 86-year-old Mr Thackeray’s condition and he had been taken off the life-support system.
“Yesterday definitely there was some problem. Balasaheb is (now) stable and responding to treatment and is off-life support system,” Mr Raut said.
Perhaps in an indication of improvement in Sena patriarch’s health, the Diwali decoration lights at the party headquarters ‘Sena Bhavan’ in Dadar were turned on in the evening.
Security has been beefed up around Matoshree as well as in the city following Wednesday’s incidents in which Shiv Sainiks damaged some media vehicles and equipment. The Chief Minister, Mr Prithviraj Chavan is monitoring the law and order situation.
Politicians, film personalities and captains of industry made a beeline for ‘Matoshree’ through the day.
The Union minister, Mr Sharad Pawar, the BJP chief, Mr Nitin Gadkari, party’s deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, Mr Gopinath Munde, the Congress general-secretary, Mr Digvijay Singh, actors Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt, filmmakers Madhur Bhandarkar and Ashok Pandit and industrialists Rahul Bajaj and Venugopal Dhoot visited ‘Matoshree’ to inquire about Mr Thackeray’s condition.
Mr Thackeray’s daughter-in-law Ms Smita Thackeray too visited in the evening.
His estranged nephew and MNS chief, Mr Raj Thackeray was at the Thackeray residence most of the time during the day.
With the crowd swelling outside Matoshree, son Mr Uddhav Thackeray came out and assured them that Mr Bal Thackeray’s health has shown improvement.
“His health is stable. Whatever treatment is required is being done for him. I have not lost hope. You should not also give up hope... Our prayers can see him through,” he said.