Mumbai: The condition of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, who has been ailing for a long time, has been reported to be very critical. "The condition of Bal Thackeray is very critical. We are monitoring him very closely," the doctors attending to the Shiv Sena supremo told CNN-IBN. The 86-year-old Shiv Sena supremo has been suffering from lung, pancreatic ailments.
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray and former president Pratibha Patil had visited Thackeray at his Matoshree residence in suburban Bandra in Mumbai. Patil was accompanied by her husband Devisingh Shekhavat, sources said. She was there for about 10 minutes.
Sources said that Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray was also present at the meeting. The Shiv Sena had extended support to Patil when she had contested presidential election in 2007.
The deteriorating health of Thackeray also prompted his nephew Raj Thackeray-led MNS cadres to seek divine intervention. Since most of the party workers and leaders owed their allegiance to their parent organisation Shiv Sena before they crossed over to MNS, the failing health of the patriarch has made them worried.
"Around 50 MNS party men paid obeisance at prominent pilgrimage centres like Pandharpur, Tuljapur and Akkalkot for the good health of Balasaheb," an MNS MLA had said on Thursday. The development came when Bal Thackeray, who failed to attend the conventional Dussehra rally of the party in October owing to his ill health, appealed to party workers to "look after Uddhav and Aditya (Bal Thackeray's grandson) as he was not keeping well.
Raj Thackeray, accompanied by wife Sharmila, had earlier also visited Thackeray's residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Mumbai to check on his uncle's health. According to sources in MNS, "a party MLA also performed a special ritual at Tuljapur along with his family members and partymen for the good health of Balasaheb". Raj had also rushed to a suburban hospital in October to be at the bedside of his estranged cousin Uddhav who underwent angioplasty in July and drove him to 'Matoshree', fuelling speculations of thaw between the estranged cousins.
Before October, Thackeray was admitted to hospital in July. Senior politicians, including NCP chief Sharad Pawar, BJP leaders Nitin Gadkari and Gopinath Munde, MNS chief Raj Thackeray, Sena leaders Manohar Joshi and Subhash Desai and RPI leader Ramdas Athavale were among those who visited him at the hospital then.