Mumbai, Nov 15: Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday night said that his ailing father Bal Thackeray was 'stable'. Addressing the worried crowd, party supporters and media people waiting outside Matoshree in Bandra east, the residence of the Thackerays, Uddav said Balasaheb's health was improving and they were doing whatever they could.
He said they did not give up hope yet and strongly believed that the iconic Maharashtrian politician would survive the crisis. It was Uddav Thackeray's fourth media appearance in less than a day.
Party leader Subhash Desai appealed to the supporters to stay calm. He said they were grateful to millions of Thackeray's supporters praying for him across the nation. Desai added that a team of doctors was constantly monitoring Thackeray, who was known to have changed the course of Maharashtra politics after setting up the Shiv Sena in the mid-1960s.
Earlier in the day, political leaders from various parties, film stars and industrialists visited Matoshree and expressed optimism about the 86-year-old leader's health conditions.
Governor K Sankaranarayanan, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, home minister RR Patil, BJP chief Nitin Gadkari and NCP chief Sharad Pawar were among the heavyweight politicians who visited Matoshree. Megastar Amitabh Bachchan and his son Abhishek, Salman Khan, Kapoor brothers Randhir, Rishi and Rajiv, Manoj Kumar and Madhur Bhandarkar were among Bollywood representatives. Industrialists VN Dhoot and Rahul Bajaj were also among the visitors.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, nephew of Balasaheb who had parted ways with the Shiv Sena in late 2005, also stayed at Matoshree for long hours.
Shiv Sena sources said a virtual ICU had been set up at Matoshree with all emergency equipment and medical and para-medical staff attending the ailing Shiv Sena patriarch day and night.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Police and other security agencies maintained a heavy security outside the Thackerays' residence and in large parts of Bandra east. Over 350 police personnel, RAF and other security outfits led by senior officers had been deployed to keep things under control. The CM was personally monitoring the security arrangement.
The situation was, nevertheless, tense as large parts of the metropolitan and suburb areas were shut early. Business activities were suspended and also shooting and screening of movies were stalled.