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, Bal Thackeray, last night. The 86-year-old Thackeray has been suffering from breathing problems and has been occasionally put on oxygen.
All roads leading to ‘Matoshree’ 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.
Balasaheb’s son and Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, his nephew and MNS chief Raj Thackeray, and other relatives were at his bedside. Shiv Sainiks, including senior Sena leaders Manohar Joshi, Sanjay Raut and Subhash Desai, made a beeline to Matoshree on learning about the Sena chief’s health.
The Shiv Sainiks were there from 8pm to 2am. Uddhav stepped outside the Thackeray home ‘Matoshri’ briefly around 2am to address the massive crowd of anxious party activists who gathered there since late Wednesday.
Accompanied by son Aditya, Uddhav appealed to the people to “remain calm and maintain peace” and ensure that the image of ‘Matoshri’ is not spoiled.
“The team of doctors is continuing their efforts….Balasaheb’s self-determination is very strong. We are facing a crisis, we shall overcome,” Uddhav assured his supporters.
Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan also reached Motoshree by 12:30 am. Due to the huge crowd over there they even sustained a bit of cuts. Apart from these many other leaders, actors and other prominent personalities reached Matoshree to see Bal Thackeray.