Mumbai, Nov 16: Mumbai is a city that never sleeps. But, on Thursday, Nov 15 as health conditions of Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray deteriorated, the city almost came to a standstill. Most of the shops and business establishments across Mumbai remained closed on Thursday. The vehicular movement on the roads also remained less. However, after the news of octogenarian leader's improving health, the city limped back to normalcy on Friday.
However, security remained tight in Mumbai for the second day in a row. The area around Bal Thackeray's residence Matoshree remained under high alert and some shops remained shut. There were over 1,500 policemen and teams of the Rapid Action Force deployed outside. But the crowd outside Matoshree had thinned down as compared to what it was on Wednesday night.
A steady stream of visitors continued to pay visit to Matoshree to have a glimpse of ailing leader. 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.