Mumbai: Disruption over ailing politician

2012-11-15 15:36
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mumbai - Parts of Mumbai were shut down on Thursday as supporters of firebrand Hindu nationalist leader Bal Keshav Thackeray flocked into India's commercial capital, alarmed by reports that he was close to death after a sharp decline in his health.

An official of Thackeray's Shiv Sena party said the 86-year-old was in a critical condition and on a ventilator, with doctors attending to him around the clock.

Founder and president of the hardline Shiv Sena (Shiva's Army), Thackeray has long been one of India's most polarising politicians. Although one of Mumbai's most influential public figures, he has been widely criticised for his fiery rhetoric on social issues such as immigration and communalism.

Hundreds of Thackeray's followers kept vigil outside his house in Mumbai's central suburbs on Thursday, under a heavy police presence, including riot officers who barricaded roads and set up a security cordon in case of violence. Protests by party supporters in the past have led to violence.

Shops in areas of Mumbai where Shiv Sena has strong support were shuttered and roads in the typically bustling business district were quiet. The financial markets operated normally, but some banks allowed employees to go home early.

Suicide squads

Rumours spread on social media sites on Wednesday that Thackeray had died, but a Shiv Sena spokesperson said his condition had improved on Thursday.

"He is being given the best treatment there and his condition is stable," Sanjay Raut said. "He is responding to treatment. His condition had worsened last night, but right now he is responding to treatment."

One of the most outspoken figures of India's Hindu nationalist movement, Thackeray has in the past called for the formation of Hindu suicide squads, once ordered his followers to dig up a cricket pitch to stop the Pakistani team from playing in Mumbai and spoke of his admiration for Adolf Hitler.

Shiv Sena, which has controlled Mumbai's city council since 1996, is a key ally of the national opposition Bharatiya Janata Party. Thackeray's death could spark a power struggle in Shiv Sena, denting its support with its vote base in Maharashtra state, where he has been the face of the party.

Read more on:    india
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is easy to get bogged down by things today. The Taurus Moon highlights the comforts and pleasures of life. You may have the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.