As Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's health continued to be a cause of concern, the leader reached out to his followers through the party mouthpiece, Saamna, in an editorial that rubbished 'rumours' of him being put on the ventilator.
Though the views expressed in the editorial are known to be Thackeray's, they are not always written by him. Monday's piece, titled 'Me and Ventilator...The stench of rumours,' said: My health has deteriorated but I have not collapsed…I am not on any ventilator.. I suffer from shortness of breath but do not need artificial respiration.'' The editorial also slammed certain media reports that said he had been put on the ventilator.
"I am not well and there is nothing to hide about it. I had myself at the Dushera rally taken Shiv Sainiks into confidence and discussed my health issues,'' the editorial said.
The editorial also said that son and Sena executive president Uddhav has been looking after him all day and nephew Raj, MNS chief, visits him regularly. "I read papers everyday as usual. Yes, everyday phone calls and visits have been cancelled temporarily,'' he added.
The editorial also stresses that the Thackeray family is close knit, which is its real real strength. In his quintessential style, he said: "If the Thackeray family won't be called at such times, then will Obama or Zardari family be called?''
The Sena patriarch is suffering from a pancreatic ailment which has caused jaundice, said medical sources attending on him. His health had deteriorated on Saturday but has been stabilised since then.
Sources said that the Sena chief's family is still worried about his condition and he is being monitored by a team of doctors round-the-clock. Sena sources said that they are keeping their fingers crossed and plan not to celebrate Diwali this year.