Mumbai/New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee has cancelled his two-day trip to Maharashtra in view of the ill health of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, official sources said on Thursday.

The president was scheduled to present the Jamnalal Bajaj Awards at a function in Mumbai on Thursday evening and also inaugurate the Sai Ashram at Shri Saibaba Temple at Shirdi, in Ahmednagar district, on Friday.

Asked why the president had cancelled his visit, a Rashtrapati Bhavan official told it was due to "Bal Thackeray's ill health".

The 86-year-old Thackeray has been suffering from breathing problems. Anxious crowds have gathered outside Thackeray's residence Matoshree and his son, party executive president Uddhav Thackeray said the family had not lost hope.

Mumbai Police and other security agencies made tight security arrangements around Matoshree, in Bandra west. Over 350 police personnel, plus the Rapid Action Force and other contingents, led by top officers, have deployed stringent security in the vicinity.


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