Mumbai: Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray, who has been taken off life support system, on Friday continued to show signs of improvement with party leaders terming his condition as "stable".

Mumbai, which has been on edge ever since Thackeray's condition worsened on Wednesday, slowly got back to business. Thackeray, 86, was taken off life support system on Thursday but is still being administered oxygen artificially.

Thackeray stable, Mumbai returns to normalcy

There was speculation that he could be shifted to Lilavati Hospital but a senior doctor attending on the ailing leader said on condition of anonymity that there was no such plan. A medical team from the hospital from is constantly monitoring his condition.

"From our face you can make out that Bal Thackeray's health is improving. His pulse rate, heart rate and blood pressure is also improving. Divine power and prayers of everyone is with him," Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut told reporters.

The condition of Thackeray, who has not been keeping well for the last few weeks, suddenly worsened on Wednesday night when he had to be put on life support.

No medical bulletin on his condition has been issued in the last three days though Shiv Sena leaders have communicated with the assembled media and Thackeray's son Uddhav briefly addressed the supporters twice in two days asking them to pray for his recovery. He, however, did not reveal much by way of information on Thackeray's health.

"Since yesterday, Shiv Sena chief's condition is stable. I had said yesterday and I will say again today, I have not given up hope. You too must not give up hope because we all are fighting soldiers of a fighting leader," Uddhav had said yesterday, adding "whatever treatment is possible, is being given."

"Balasaheb is doing better every passing day due to the good wishes of the people," senior Sena leader and former Lok Sabha speaker Manohar Joshi told the media on Friday outside Thackeray's heavily fortified residence in suburban Bandra.

"The situation remains largely unchanged. His condition is being constantly monitored," said a doctor earlier in the day, wishing not to be identified.

He refused to part with any further information on how Thackeray's vital parameters were and the line of treatment. Thackeray is said to be suffering from respiratory problems. Hardly any Shiv Sena leader, film personalities and captains of industry, who make a beeline for 'Matoshree', is being allowed to personally meet Thackeray.

Only Uddhav, his wife Rashmi and a team of doctors from the Leelavati Hospital are permitted inside the Sena boss' room on the second floor, sources close to the family said.

Meanwhile, people from the tinsel town, politicians and common Shiv Sena workers continue to throng 'Matoshree'. Prominent among those who turned up today included yoga guru Ramdev, actors Jeetendra, Suresh Oberoi and son Vivek, BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu, party's Rajya Sabha MP and actress Hema Malini and RSP's Ramdas Athavale.

Shiv Sainiks maintaining a vigil outside 'Matoshree' chanted slogans hailing Thackeray and prayed for his recovery and long life. A group of Muslims also offered prayers.

'Matoshree' has virtually been turned into a fortress with huge presence of personnel from Mumbai police, State Reserve Police and Rapid Action Force. Meanwhile, there was heavy  police deployment in the city for the third consecutive day.

"We have information that Thackeray's health is improving but there are no specific instructions from seniors on relaxing the security measures," an officer from the city police said.

Mumbai's 45,000-strong police force has been on tenterhooks since Wednesday amid concerns over Thackeray's health. There is heavy presence of police and Rapid Action Force personnel outside Matoshree and other parts of Mumbai. Leaves of all the cops have been cancelled.

(Agencies)

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