Amid speculations over Bal Thackeray's deteriorating health and a Mumbai-wide high alert following reports that he is on life support system, the Shiv Sena on Thursday said the party supremo's condition is improving steadily.
"His condition is improving steadily.The improvement of his health is a result of the prayers for him," Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai told reporters.
"We all hope that he will be in a better condition soon," he said.
Earlier in the day, senior party leader Sanjay Raut said Thackeray was stable and he was responding to medicines.
"He is very much stable. He is a strong man and he will surely come back to us again in public," said Raut, a Rajya Sabha MP of Sena and the party´s spokesperson.
"He needs rest. He is not critical, he is responding to medicines," Raut said adding that Thackeray is much better on Thursday than he was a day ago.
He said the party has urged the Shiv Sainiks (party followers) not to gather before his house.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has been monitoring the law and order situation in the state in the wake of Thackeray´s health reports.
He held a meeting with the chief secretary and top police officers on Wednesday night, reports said.
Earlier, the leaves of all policemen in the city were cancelled as security was tightened outside ailing Thackeray´s house.
Rapid Action Force personnel have been deployed outside Matoshree, Thackeray´s house in Bandra.
At 2 am on Thursday, the 86-year-old´s son, Uddhav, came out and said: "I have not lost hope. You too must not lose hope. All efforts are on. Please pray and maintain calm."
Large number of politicians from different parties and Bollywood actors, including Amitabh Bachchan and his son Abhishek Bachchan, came to see the 86-year-old leader.
"Balasaheb Thackeray : a fighter all his life, fights his life !! Prayers needed now !" Big B tweeted.
He said Thackeray had visited him in the hospital when he was recovering after a near fatal accident on the sets of his film ´Coolie´ back in 1982.
"When I fought for my life after ´Coolie´ accident, he came to visit me in hospital, with a cartoon he had drawn - Yamraj defeated. Yamraj - God of Death, defeated by me..wish I was as proficient a cartoonist as he, for tonight I would wish to draw that for him !" the superstar said.
Bachchan said Thackeray has always treated him and his wife Jaya Bachchan as family.
"When Jaya and I married, he called us to his house .. and the rituals that were conducted was of the ´bahu´ coming home ! From that day on he always treated us as family," he said.
Speaking on the Bofors scandal, Bachchan posted on Twitter: "When the Bofors Scandal accusations on us were at its peak, he called me home and asked ´tell me the truth, are you involved ?´ When I said ´NO !´, he said ´Then do not worry about anything. I am with you. You are an actor, go do what you are best at´."
Bachchan was reportedly injured while he visited Thackeray on Wednesday night when he struggled through the large crowd to meet the Shiv Sena supremo.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Gopinath Munde visited the leader on Thursday morning.
Singer Lata Mageshkar tweeted: "I am extremely disturbed and concerned about the critical health of Shri Balasaaheb Thackeray, who is like a family member to me...In view of this, I am postponing the function of my music company to a later date.. My prayers are with Balasaaheb and the entire Thackeray family."
Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan tweeted: "My prayers & wishes for Bala sahibji...may he recover soon & healthy from this battle."