Bal Thackeray critical, son, nephew appeal for calm

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 15, 2012 03:07 hrs

Mumbai: As ailing Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's condition became "critical" early Thursday, son Uddhav and nephew Raj jointly appealed to party activists to "remain calm".

Over 5,000 anxious Shiv Sainiks from Mumbai, Thane and other parts of the state trooped to Bandra east awaiting a word on their beloved leader's health.

Late Wednesday, party executive president Uddhav Thackeray, through a senior party colleague, issued an appeal to all party activists to "remain calm" and said treatment was continuing on the ailing leader.

Thackeray, 86, has been ailing for over three weeks, causing great concern in the political circles.

Mumbai Police and other security agencies deployed tight security outside 'Matoshri', the clan's home in Bandra west. Over 250 police personnel were deployed in the vicinity to beef up security.

All roads leading to 'Matoshri' were also barricaded and even some party leaders had to abandon their vehicles near the Western Express Highway and walk the short route to the Thackeray household.

The crowds and vehicles resulted in traffic jams on major roads to the north and south of Bandra inconveniencing thousands of people celebrating Diwali.

"Thackeray is serious, but stable. A team of doctors is continuously monitoring him," a senior party official who met him last evening, told IANS, preferring anonymity.

Besides all members of the Thackeray family, nephew Raj Thackeray and his wife Sharmila, top Shiv Sena leaders like ex-Lok Sabha speaker Manohar Joshi, senior leader Subhash Desai, party MPs Sanjay Raut, Ramdas Kadam, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vinod Tawade and others rushed to the bungalow around midnight.

Later, state Tourism Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, Bollywood mega-star Amitabh Bachchan accompanied by son Abhishek, Sanjay Dutt and his wife Manyata were among other prominent personalities who went to Matoshri even as people awaited the latest update on Thackeray's delicate health condition.

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