Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray dies at 86

Bal Thackeray, a maverick politician who roused emotions on Marathi pride and catapulted Shiv Sena to power in Maharashtra in the 1990s, died in Mumbai on Saturday after having been critically ill for the past few days. The 86-year-old cartoonist-turned-politician, known for his strong views and speaking his mind, sometimes bordering on the offensive, breathed his last at 3.30 PM at his residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra.

The body of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, who breathed his last in Mumbai on Saturday afternoon, will be kept at Shivaji Park to enable millions of party activists and Mumbaikars to pay their last respects to the leader from 7am on Sunday, party MP Sanjay Raut told reporters.

Raut also appealed to all Shiv Sainiks to "maintain calm and remain peaceful" in the wake of the tragedy which has befallen them.

Shivaji Park in south-central Mumbai is the same place where 46 years ago, Thackeray addressed his first Dussehra rally and continued the annual tradition virtually uninterrupted till his death Saturday.

In October, Thackeray 'addressed' the rally in a videographed message in which he had confessed of his failing health.


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