23:57 Trade In the ghosts of 1962:
Advice from Ravi Bhoothalingam, former president Oberoi Hotels for India and China in The Hindu: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/trade-in-the-ghosts-of-1962/article4095609.ece
23:19 Balasaheb better. Have faith in God: Uddhav:
Just in: Uddhav Thackeray says that the condition of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray is stable.
With the crowd swelling outside Matoshree, Uddhav came out and assured them that Balasaheb's health has shown improvement.
"His health is stable. Whatever treatment is required is being done for him. I have not lost hope. You should not also give up hope... Our prayers can see him through," he said..
23:17 Jaitley meets Modi to chalk out Gujarat poll plan:
Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha and one of BJP's main strategists Arun Jaitley on Thursday met Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and discussed the strategy for the next phase of the party's assembly poll campaign, which begins from Monday.
"Jaitleyji is here to discuss the strategy ahead for the next phase of campaigning," BJP sources said.Jaitley held a meeting with the Chief Minister in Gandhinagar after he arrived in the evening and then visited the party headquarters.
Campaigning is expected to pick up from Monday after a few days' lull due to Diwali and Gujarati New Year
22:48 France is Europe's 'time-bomb': The Economist:
After accusing the French of being in "denial" during the presidential election campaign in late March, the British weekly The Economist now says that France is "the time-bomb at the heart of Europe."
"The crisis could hit as early as next year," the magazine warned in a cover story to appear on Friday with the sub-title: "Why France could become the biggest danger to Europe's single currency."
The Economist takes French President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to task for delaying crucial reforms, saying in a separate French language statement: "Neither Mr Hollande nor Mr Ayrault appear to be the kind of leader courageous enough to impose reforms against generalised opposition."
France's new Socialist government does appear to understand how serious the economic situation in Europe has become and the need for reforms that allow the economy to compete more effectively on a global level, the British weekly acknowledged.
But it expressed concern "that these recent changes come too late and are insufficient."
22:22 Shah Rukh Khan, Bachchans at Matoshree :
Shah Rukh Khan, who had a famous run-in with the Thackerays after he spoke up for Pakistani cricketers in the IPL, was reported seen at Matoshree late tonight. As were Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan. This is Mr Bachchan's second visit to the Thackeray home in less than 12 hours.
21:38 Complainant against Yeddy says he is being threatened:
A Shimoga-based advocate, who had filed a complaint against former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and others, today filed a memo before the Lokayukta court alleging some unidentified persons have been threatening him against pursuing the case.
B Vinod filed the memo before Judge N K Sudhindra Rao, furnishing a copy of the letter he had written to the then hief minister D V Sadananda Gowda, the governor, the DGP and the home minister on June 5, alleging he was being threatened by some people t.
Taking it on record, the court adjourned the matter to November 30.
21:36 Countdown for Delhi govt has started: Kejriwal:
Activist Arvind Kejriwal today claimed that the countdown for the Sheila Dikshit-led Delhi government has begun and the common man is bound to overthrow a dispensation which is not sympathetic to them.
He said Dikshit should stop taking the trouble to deal new blows to common people.
"People will not tolerate for long a government which does not have any sympathy for the common man. The countdown for Sheila Dikshit's government has started," he said.
20:54 PM talks to Gogoi over Assam violence:
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called up Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday evening to discuss law and order in violence hit Bodoland Territorial Administered Districts where one person was killed, taking the toll to six since November 10.
Gogoi gave the prime minister, who is a Rajya Saba MP from the state, a detailed account of the situation and steps taken to control the violence.
The prime minister told Gogoi that certain forces were acting in a planned manner to destabilise peace and security in the region.
20:50 Pinki Pramanik seeks Mamata's intervention:
Alleging harassment by the police, Asian Games Gold medallist Pinki Pramanik, who has been charged with rape, today urged Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to intervene in the case.
"I would like the chief minister to speak out against my harassment and want the cooperation of Sports Minister Madan Mitra and the West Bengal government. Many people assured me of help in my days of crisis, but there are none around me now. This is shocking," Pinki, who has been identified as male by police in its chargesheet after medical reports, told reporters.
Reiterating her charge that the police were harassing her and provoking her to commit suicide, the athlete who won the 4x400 m relay gold in 2006 Doha Asian Games, said, "I gave so much to the country and many people including those from sporting fraternity promised help, but I regret that none are forthcoming."
20:49 Investigating allegations of corrupt practice in India: Walmart :
World's largest retailer Walmart today said it is investigating allegations of corrupt practices against it in foreign markets, including India.
In March 2011, the US-based company had started a worldwide review of its policies, practices and internal controls for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance.
"We have inquiries or investigations regarding allegations of potential FCPA violations in a number of foreign markets where we operate regarding FCPA allegations, including but not limited to Brazil, China and India. This is in addition to the ongoing investigation in Mexico," the company said in a statement.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of the US bars bribing officials of foreign governments.
19:36 Rahul Gandhi to head Cong's LS poll campaign:
Breaking news: No, this is not about Bal Thackeray, but news that Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi will be heading the 2014 Lok Sabha polls coordination committee
. In other words, he will head the Congress's election campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Other members are Ahmed Patel, Janardhan Dwivedi, Digvijaya Singh, Jairam Ramesh and Madhusudan Mistry.
And here's another visitor at Matoshree, we think you may have missed -- the inimitable Dolly Bindra, who was seen outside the Thackeray residence this afternoon. (She's the lady on the left).
Here's what the tweets say:
"Dolly Bindra has reached Matoshree it seems. This is getting depressingly annoying."
"Of all the people in the whole wide world, Dolly Bindra comes to visit Balasaheb!"
And the rest, we're afraid are politically incorrect.
Pic: Hitesh Harisinghani
19:20 Shiv Sena workers in Nashik performed a maha-aarti for the speedy recovery of Bal Thackeray today, says PTI.
19:18 Mumbai does not fear Thackeray, it loves him: Javdekar :
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar
salutes Bal Thackeray in a free-wheeling interview with rediff.com's Priyanka. Excerpts...
"There are many who would say that people are afraid of him," says Javdekar, even as a critcially ill Bal Thackeray slowly becomes stable. "Balasaheb Thackeray is a great leader and Mumbai doesnt fear him; it loves him. He has earned that love and affection, because he cares for everybody who comes into his contact."
Full interview on Rediff.com shortly.
19:06 Mumbai limps back to normalcy:
Hundreds of Shiv Sainiks had kept vigil outside Matoshree, but a heavy police presence, including companies of the Rapid Action Force ensured there was no untoward incident. Roads had been barricaded and a security cordon set up in case violence broke out as emotions threatened to get the better of Sena loyalists. Of course, rumours on social media sites on Wednesday (including a tweet by Congress general secretary) suggested that Thackeray had died, but repeated statements from politicians that Thackeray's condition was stable, diffused would could have been a grim situation.
A company of the Rapid Action Force deployed outside Matoshree. Pic: Rajesh Karkera
19:06 Uddhav: No need to worry about Balasaheb anymore :
Another update from our reporter Prasanna Zore
from outside Matoshree. Singer Udit Narayan who also met the Thackerays a while ago says, "Uddhav told me there is no need to worry anymore, but asked me to pray for his father. Balasaheb was a like a father figure to me," said Narayan. He added, "We breathe peacefully because of him."
Supporters cutting across religion pray for Bal Thackeray's health. Pic: Sahil Salvi
18:53 City limps back to normal after a tense morning:
After a largely tense morning that saw Mumbaikars choosing to return home from work (many are still on holiday) the situation is now nearing normalcy after news that Bal Thackeray's health had improved. Shops, which had downed shutters fearing violence are largely open for business.
18:45 Centre keeps paramilitary forces on standby :
Government sources said Central forces on way to Gujarat for poll duty have been asked to break their journey and be on standby in Maharashtra for immediate deployment in case the situation in Mumbai and other cities in the state were to flare up.
"The Union home ministry is in constant touch with the Maharashtra DGP and is closely monitoring the developments in Mumbai," a senior MHA official said adding that more forces would be spared as soon as a request is made by the state. -- The Times of India
Rishi Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor outside Matoshree. Pic: Arun Patil
18:42 PCB chief sends Bal Thackeray get well soon message:
The head of Pakistan's cricket board has sent a "get well soon' message to firebrand Indian politician Bal Thackeray who has demanded Delhi cancel next month's tour by the Pakistani team, reports the Dawn.
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf said he has wished the 86-year-old founder of the hardline Hindu Shiv Sena party, who is in a critical condition, a speedy recovery.
18:15 And of course, Digvijaya tweeted Thackeray's death:
In case you've missed this, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, who has a penchant for putting his foot in his mouth whenever he opens it to make a statement, did it again last night (Thursday morning).
DNA reports: Digvijaya tweeted about ailing Bal Thackeray's demise, which he later retracted and apologised to Shiv Sena supremo's family. "Sorry to hear about Bala Saheb's sad demise. Never accepted his Political Ideology but admired his Wit and Courage of Conviction," he tweeted.
He retracted immediately, saying "My apologies to Thakre Family Pray for his speedy recovery "Later taking to media, Singh said: "I pray to God to improve Bal Thackeray's health, he has fought against the world, I am sure he will fight for his health."
17:53 And the tweets say...:
MoS Shipping Milind Deora tweets: Wishing Balasaheb Thackeray a speedy recovery. My best to his family.
Shah Rukh Khan tweets: My prayers & wishes for Bala sahibji...may he recover soon & healthy from this battle
Arun Patil's photograph of industrialists Venugopal Dhoot of Videocon and Rahul Bajaj of the Bajaj Group. They visited Matoshree at around 2 pm today.
Back to our updates from Matoshree, here's a picture of superstar Salman Khan and his father Salim Khan. Arbaaz Khan (not in the picture) also accompanied the two during their visit to Matoshree this afternoon. Pic: Arun Patil
17:36 India waiting for Irish probe into death of Indian woman:
Apart from the watch on Bal Thackeray, this is the other big news story of the day.
India today said it is awaiting the results of two probes ordered by Irish authorities in the circumstances in which an Indian woman dentist died in Ireland, and would "take it from there".
The Embassy of Ireland said the Irish government, at the highest level, is committed to establishing the full circumstances and facts surrounding the incident.
"We deeply regret the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar. The death of an Indian national in such circumstances is a matter of concern. Our Embassy in Dublin is following the matter closely," official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs, Syed Akbaruddin, said. Akbaruddin said the MEA has also conveyed its sympathies to the family of the deceased.
Halappanavar, 31, died in Ireland due to blood poisoning after doctors allegedly refused to terminate her 17-week-long pregnancy, telling her that "this is a Catholic country". Akbaruddin also said "we understand that the Irish authorities have initiated two inquiries. We are awaiting the results of these inquiries and we will take it from there."
Terming the death a "terrible tragedy", the Irish Embassy, said in a statement that "an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mrs Halappanavar's death has been ordered by the Health authorities in Ireland and the investigation team, which will include independent external expertise, will be liaising with Mrs Halappanavar's family.
Savita's husband Praveen Halappanavar, an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, told Irish media that his wife had asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. This was refused, he said, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told "this is a Catholic country".
17:29 BJP leader: Uddhav seems relaxed:
BJP leader Madhu Chavan who met Uddhav Thackeray a while ago told Rediff.com's Prasanna Zore
that Bal Thackeray was responding well to treatment. He also said Uddhav seemed relaxed since the Sena chief began responding to treatment and was taken off life support. Chavan's statement is yet another confirmation that the Sena chief seems to be doing well and echoes what everyone else who met the family today said.
Arun Patil's picture of the crowd outside Matoshree
17:20 Mithun Chakraborty, Kapoors at Matoshree : Rediff.com's Prasanna Zor
e reporting from outside Matoshree says veteran Bollywood actor Mithun Chakraborty has been inside the Sena leader's residence for the last 30 minutes.
And yes, Rishi Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor and Rajiv Kapoor have arrived there as well.
That's a picture of Marathi stage and film actor Vikram Gokhale by Arun Patil.
16:53 Petrol price to be cut by 0.95 paise :
In other news: The price of petrol was today cut by 95 paise per litre with effect from midnight tonight. Petrol, which currently costs Rs 68.19 per litre in Delhi, will be priced at Rs 67.24 from tomorrow.
16:31 Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan at Matoshree :
Subhash Desai who is considered to be very close to Uddhav Thackeray has maintained the same line by everyone who popped into Matoshree today, that Thackeray was stable and responding to treatment. He also urged Sainiks to help the police maintain law and order.
And yes, Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan reaches Matoshree. Expect the same, "condition stable, health improving" bulletin from him as well.
Here's a picture of veteran Bollywood actor Manoj Kumar and his wife. The picture was tweeted by the Indian Express.
16:22 Manohar Joshi, Manoj Kumar at Matoshree :
Former Maharashtra chief minister and Shiv Sena senior leader Manohar Joshi arrives at Matoshree, reports Prasanna Zore,
who has been giving us minute-by-minute updates from the Thackeray residence.
Veteran Bollywood actor Manoj Kumar has arrived as well. .
Maharashtra Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan expected to arrive any time now.
16:15 Subhash Desai also asks supporters stationed outside Matoshree to maintain peace, saying this was Uddhav's message to them. In fact, to his credit, Uddhav has been reiterating party workers not take the law in their own hands and maintain peace.
16:08 Sena's 1st bulletin on Thackeray: Health improving:
Coming up, Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai addressing the press, the first bulletin on Bal Thackeray's health today, from the party.
"Bal Thackeray is responding well to treatment. The blessings of the people have worked and Balasaheb is doing well. Dawa se bada dua hai (wishes work better than medicines). Doctors are working round-the-clock monitoring his health and I can assure you, he is improving," says Desai.
15:56 Visitors to Matoshree today: Union Minister Sharad Pawar, BJP chief Nitin Gadkari, party's deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, actors Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt, filmmakers Madhur Bhandarkar and Ashok Pandit and industrialists Rahul Bajaj and Venugopal Dhoot visited Matoshree to inquire about Thackeray's condition
15:55 Thackeray still on oxygen: Docs :
So, here's a recap at this hour.
Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, whose condition turned critical last night, is showing signs of improvement and has been taken off the life support system, party spokesman Sanjay Raut said today.
"Yesterday definitely there was some problem. Balasaheb is stable and responding to treatment and off life support system. Yesterday there was the need for him to be on life support system but today it is not," Raut, a Rajya Sabha MP, said.
No medical bulletin on the ailing 86-year-old leader's condition has been issued as yet, but one of the doctors attending on him said Thackeray was still being administered oxygen. "He is being given oxygen and his condition is still not good," the doctor, who did not want to be identified, said.
Meanwhile, security outside Matoshree in suburban Bandra has been stepped up following yesterday's incidents in which Shiv Sainiks had damaged some media vehicles and equipment.
Large contingents of Mumbai police and Rapid Action Force have been stationed and the area has been heavily barricaded. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has been continuously monitoring law and order situation in the state in view of Thackeray's condition.
"Last night, Chavan held a high-level meeting with the chief secretary and top police officers. Since this morning, he is in constant touch with family members of the Sena chief," official sources said.
Large number of shops and business establishments in Sena strongholds like Dadar and Parel were closed as anxious party workers converged at 'Matoshree' to inquire about their leader's health. Politicians, film personalities and captains of industry made a beeline for 'Matoshree' as a mark of solidarity with the Thackeray family. Rajesh Karkera's
picture of an empty street at Mahim this afternoon.
15:37 On Twitter: I'm not saying that Salman Khan is driving towards Matoshree, but the police have started evacuating people from the sidewalks.
Shiv sainiks tore big B's kurta outside Matoshree and salman khan walked in like a Tiger. people know tigers value.
15:33 Who said what...:
This is what Pritish Nandy
tweeted on Bal Thackeray: He was my first friend in Mumbai when I came in the winter of 1982. Today he is fighting to survive. My love to Balasaheb Thackeray. My sympathies and love to Uddhav and Aditya as they cope with the tragedy of Balasaheb's failing health. May he fight back and win.
"Our prayers go out for Balasaheb Thackeray and his family members.... May the tiger wake up and roar again. That a cartoonist in the Free Press Journal could reach where Balasaheb reached is a tribute to the power of Indian democracy. There will be lots of time later to discuss the politics of the Sena, good or bad. Time to now pray Balasaheb comes back from the edge."Filmmaker Subhash Ghai
tweeted: "I pray for balasaheb health i hv many fond memories since he used to discuss my movies as a writer. a rare combine of artist n politician."Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar:
#Balasaaheb has always been a fighter & it is with that spirit I wish he spring back 2 good health soon. Strength 2 his family.Singer Kailash Kher
posted: "Entire Mumbai is Stand still,worried about One n Only shri Bala Saheb Thackreys health, may the divine power bring him to good health soon."
15:28 Pritish Nandy: Sympathies, love to Uddhav and Aditya:
Senior journalist and columnist Pritish Nandy said he is praying for Bal Thackeray's recovery. Nandy was a Rajya Sabha MP from the Shiv Sena.
My sympathies and love to Uddhav and Aditya as they cope with the tragedy of Balasaheb's failing health. May he fight back and win. Our prayers go out for Balasaheb Thackeray and his family members.... May the tiger wake up and roar again," he said.
"That a cartoonist in the Free Press Journal could reach where Balasaheb reached is a tribute to the power of Indian democracy. There will be lots of time later to discuss the politics of the Sena, good or bad. Time to now pray that Balasaheb comes back from the edge," he added.
Filmmaker Ashok Pandit tweeted, "Balasahab stopped my community (Kashmiri pandits) from picking up arms by giving us education. After my exodus, I went to Balasaheb for help. He asked me wht do u want? I said our wealth is education. He immed creating a quota & gve us edu (sic)."
: The 1998 interview with Pritish Nandy on his nomination to the Rajya Sabha by the Shiv Sena.
15:24 Doctors: Thackeray critical; Family: Saheb stable :
A health bulletin was expected from Matoshree at 3pm, but it's yet to happen. Every visitor to Matoshree today including politicians like Nitin Gadkari, Manohar Joshi and Gopinath Munde have said that Thackeray's condition is stable. Doctors treating the Sena chief however maintain that he is critical.
A while ago, Sena leader Anand Gite joined the chorus. He tells rediff.com's Hitesh Harisinghani
, "Yesterday, saheb was critical, but he is now responding well to treatment."
Media reports suggest that they have not actually met Thackeray, but just his family.
14:59 Sainiks begin to lose patience outside Matoshree :
Shiv Sainiks outside Matoshree have begun to lose their patience with the police's refusal to let them in and the fact that there has been a complete blackout of news from the Matoshree about Bal Thackeray's health. Sainiks have begun raising slogans, "Vande Mataram, Hindu hriday samrat Bal Thackeray-cha vijay."
tweets: Praying for a speedy recovery for the real son of Maharashtra Shri BalaSaheb Thakery our wishes and prayers are with him God Bless Him...
Please note the spelling of Thackeray, or should we put that down to the 140 character constraint?
14:52 Nitin Gadkari, Salman Khan at Matoshree: Rediff.com's Prasanna Zore
reports that BJP president Nitin Gadkari,
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan
arrive at Matoshree to pay their respects. Beginning last evening, a steady stream of leaders from across parties have been visiting Bal Thackeray as lies stable, but critical. Remember, there is no health bulletin from Matoshree as yet.
Mid Day cartoonist Satish Acharya's take on Bal Thackeray's health.
14:46 Sena leader raises slogans outside Matoshree: Rediff.com's Prasanna Zore
reports that Shiv Sena leader Suryakant Mahadik raised slogans outside Matoshree. Mahadik came with a contingent of supporters raised slogans in support of Bal Thackeray and for good measure, a few Jai Bhawani slogans as well. He is the only Shiv Sena leader to do so.
14:42 ABP News: Raj Thackeray leaves from Matoshree, says Balasaheb's health condition is fine.
14:41 CM monitors security in Mumbai, Maharashtra:
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has been continuously monitoring law and order situation in the state in view of the deteriorating health of Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray.
"Last night, Chavan held a high-level meeting with the chief secretary and top police officers. Since this morning, he is in constant touch with family members of the Sena chief," official sources said. Chavan has not taken up any other engagements, they said.
Meanwhile, Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut said Thackeray was not on life support system at present. "Life support system was required last night but not today," he told reporters. No health bulletin regarding the Sena patriarch's condition has been issued so far.Rajesh Karkera's
photograph of a RAF company outside Matoshree this afternoon.
14:30 CNN IBN: Ninety per cent of film and TV shoots postponed after concerns over Bal Thackeray's health.
14:28 Republican Party of India leader Ramdas Athavale arrives at Matoshree. The RPI-Shiv Sena-BJP combine had fought the Bombay Municipal Corporation polls as allies, reports rediff.com's Prasanna Zore.
14:26 Heavy police bandobast at Matoshree, around city :
That's Rediff.com's Rajesh Karkera's
picture of the police bandobast outside Matoshree. Heavy security is in place to prevent any violence or protests by the party. Last night party president Uddhav Thackeray had also pleaded with emotional Sainiks not to indulge in violence and stay calm.
14:12 Why didn't Rane meet Thackerays, wonder Sainiks: Rediff.com's Prasanna Zore
listens in on a conversation between Shiv Sainiks from Malwan, outside Matoshree. Watching the parade of party leaders and industrialists to Matoshree, they want to know where Narayan Rane is. Rane, a former chief minister of Maharashtra, began his political journey with the Shiv Sena in his early twenties as a local Shakha Pramukh at Chembur. Bal Thackeray was his mentor.
13:52 Rediff.com's Prasanna Zore says industrialists Venugopal Dhoot (Videocon) and Rahul Bajaj (Bajaj Group) have just left Matoshree after almost an hour.
13:47 In a wireless message to all the police commissioners and SPs, the state home department asked them to deploy not only companies of the state reserve police force, but also rapid action force companies. "Ensure that adequate police force is deployed in your jurisdiction and if someone is taking the law into his hand or creating communal tension, deal with them with an iron hand," a senior IPS officer quoted the message as saying. -- TOI.
13:29 Ramesh Srivats tweets: Good. Looks like Mumbai is peaceful. Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
13:18 Madhur Bhandarkar meets Uddhav:
A few hours ago, filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar met the Thackerays at Matoshree. Bhandarkar said he had spoken to Uddhav, who assured him that his father's health was stable.
13:15 Wish I could draw Thackeray defeating Yamraj: Bachchan:
Amitabh Bachchan gets emotional on Twitter: When I fought for my life after 'Coolie' accident, he came to visit me
in hospital, with a cartoon he had drawn - Yamraj defeated !
Yamraj - God of Death, defeated by me..wish I was as proficient a cartoonist as he, for tonight I would wish to draw that for him.
13:09 Aditya Thackeray on Facebook: Let's be optimistic.
13:01 Leaders across party lines arrive at Matoshree:
NCP leader Vasant Davkhare who also met the family at Matoshree a short while ago, says Bal Thackeray's condition is stable.
BJP leader Vinod Tawde has also arrived to meet the Thackerays.
Industrialists Rahul Bajaj of the Bajaj group and Venugopal Dhoot of Videocon arrive at Matoshree.
12:56 Lata Mangeshkar tweets her concern :
"I am extremely disturbed and concerned about the critical health of Shri Balasaaheb Thackeray, who is like a family member to me...In view of this, I am postponing the function of my music company to a later date.. My prayers are with Balasaaheb and the entire Thackeray family... Lata Mangeshkar.
12:48 Why Amitabh Bachchan shares such a close rapport with Thackeray:
Amitabh Bachchan on why he has a close rapport with Bal Thackeray. Here's what he says on Twitter:
"When I was flown in to Mumbai from Bangalore in semiconscious state after 'Coolie' accident, it was his ambulance that took me to BC [Mumbai's Breach Candy hospital]. From that day on he always treated us as family.
"When Jaya and I married, he called us to his house .. and the rituals that were conducted was of the 'bahu' coming home!
When the Bofors Scandal accusations on us were at its peak, he called me
home and asked "tell me the truth, are you involved ?" When I said "NO !", he said "Then do not worry about anything. I am with you. You are an actor, go do what you are best at."
A file picture of Amitabh Bachchan with Bal Thackeray.
12:44 Rahul Kanwal, managing editor of Headlines Today tweets: TV Today OB van vandalised by Shiv Sainiks outside Matoshree in Mumbai. Reporter says camera smashed. How does this help anyone. #Thackeray
12:40 Uddhav to address media shortly:
Uddhav Thackeray is expected to address the media shortly. Raj Thackeray and his family are still at Matoshree. Uddhav last spoke to Shiv Sainiks at 2 am and said Thackeray has "strong will power and will come out of this." Thackeray's condition has been described as extremely critical since
Wednesday night. "We are hopeful," Udhav said,"Don't trust rumours. Make
There are close to 400 police personnel around Matoshree all the way till the Bandra-Worli Sea Link.
12:34 Sharad Pawar at Matoshree:
NCP chief Sharad Pawar is now at Matoshree as well. Lata Mangeshkar, said to be close to the Thackeray family, says her "prayers are with Balasaheb". Rediff.com's Prasanna Zore
reporting from outside Matoshree says angry Shiv Sainiks argue with the police outside the press enclosure at the Mhada headquarters near Matoshree. The Sainiks who have come from Kolhapur say they've been waiting here since last night and if the press is allowed inside, so should they. The police do not respond to pleas, and it is believed they have been told to maintain calm at all costs.
Raj Thackeray has just arrived at Matoshree, his second visit since last night after Bal Thackeray's health worsened
12:11 Sena: DON'T believe in rumours, Thackeray stable:
Sanjay Raut speaking to Times Now urges Mumbaikars not to believe in rumours. "Balasaheb has been taken off life support and his health is improving. He is stable," says Raut. "His condition is better than last night," said Raut.
Even as the Diwali decorations were taken down at Matoshree, Sainiks seem to have forgotten the ones at Sena Bhavan, as rediff.com's Vaihayasi Pande Daniel
12:06 Separate enclosure for media at Matoshree: Rediff.com's Rajesh Karkera
sends this picture of the road outside Matoshree. The police have cleared the area of people, to avert a security disaster like the one with the Bachchans. If you've just joined us, Amitabh Bachchan, who was amongst the first to rush to Matoshree to
ask about the welfare of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray after news of
his being put on life support spread, was met by an angry crowd gathered
around Matoshree last night.
Bachchan, who had appealed to the crowd to remain calm, was roughed
up by an angry group, which had become quite emotional after news about
Thackeray's deteriorating health spread. Big B was injured, his kurta
torn and he received slight injuries on his arm.
A separate enclosure for media outside Matoshree.
11:58 Madhur Bhandarkar tweets: Balasaaheb has always been a fighter & it is with that spirit I wish he spring back 2 good health soon. Strength 2 his family.
11:57 Area outside Matoshree cleared, Mumbai deserted:
Here's the situation from around Mumbai.
Rediff.com's Vaihayasi Pande Daniel
reporting from Dadar and Mahim says the area is almost entirely quiet in contrast to south Mumbai and other areas of central Mumbai. Shops are shut and there are few people on the roads. There is a very palpable air of people waiting for news, people stand around in small groups in earnest discussion. Police are everywhere.
Pictured: The area around Raj Thackeray's home at MB Raut Road is deserted.
11:57 Shops down shutters; cabs, autos disappear : Rediff.com's Prasanna Zore
reports that the situation is peaceful at Malad, but shops have downed shutters. Shopkeepers who have still doing business say they will not down shutters unless specifically asked to do so. Shiv Sainiks have gathered outside shakhas in small numbers, but nobody is really enforcing a bandh. There is notable police presence at Malad railway station and outside mosques.
Here's some news by Yogesh Pawar on FB: Already cabs and autos vanish.. A tense calm in Goregaon, Jogeshwari, Vile Parle. In Jogeshwari, tension as east shuts shop, but not the west. Security high in polarised majaswadi... sena boards up on all junctions.
11:42 Senior party leaders, family at Matoshree:
Right now, senior party leaders and family are at Matoshree with Bal Thackeray, as he remained critical.
The area around Matoshree, however, has been cleared of the massive crowds. Like we said earlier, all leave of police personnel were cancelled and a massive 48,000-strong contingent has been spread out across Mumbai. An RAF contingent has also been posted.
11:36 Thackeray's latest health update: Critical, under observation :
Tense Mumbaikars feeding in to Twitter for news updates of Thackeray.
Milind Khandekar gives us this update on Twitter: Shiv Sena Leader Ramdas Kadam says doctors trying their best for Bal Thackray. Kadam addressed party workers outside Matoshri while ago.
The latest health bulletin from Matoshree says that Bal Thackeray remains critical, and is under observation.
That's the latest picture of Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi leaving Matoshree this morning, sent to us by Rediff.com's Abhishek Mande.
11:00 Thackeray stable, responding to treatment: Sena:
The health of Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray, who was in a critical condition last night, is "stable" now, party spokesman Sanjay Raut said this morning. "Balasaheb is stable now. Need not worry. He is responding to doctors' efforts," Raut, a Rajya Sabha MP, said.
10:56 No health updates on Thackeray this morning:
Doctors attending to Bal Thackeray (86) had said last night that he was in a "very critical" condition and on life support system. None of the doctors attending on him were available for the latest update on his condition today. BJP leader Gopinath Munde who visited 'Matoshree' this morning told reporters that "the Sena chief's health is better than last night".
And yes, Uddhav continues to say that Bal Thackeray has a lot of will power.
10:47 Thackeray ill: No leave for cops, RAF deployed:
The city police has cancelled all leave and 48,000 policemen will be on the streets in shifts. The Rapid Action Force has been deployed too to help maintain law and order should the need arise.
10:45 Abhishek and I were injured, but fine now: Amitabh: Amitabh Bachchan tweets:
Yes both Abhishek and me were injured with cuts, but are fine and back home ... the doctors at 'Matoshree' attended on us !
Amitabh Bachchan, who was amongst the first to rush to Matoshree to
ask about the welfare of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray after news of
his being put on life support spread, was met by an angry crowd gathered
Bachchan, who had appealed to the crowd to remain calm, was roughed
up by an angry group, which had become quite emotional after news about
Thackeray's deteriorating health spread. Big B was injured, his kurta
torn and he received slight injuries on his arm.
10:41 All roads leading to Matoshri barricaded:
Over 5,000 anxious Shiv Sainiks from Mumbai, Thane and other parts of the state trooped to Bandra east awaiting a word on their beloved leader's health, reports the Times of India. All roads leading to Matoshri were also barricaded and some party leaders had to abandon their vehicles near the Western Express Highway and walk the short route to the Thackeray household. Traffic jams were reported on major roads to the north and south of Bandra last night and today as well.
10:20 Bal Thackeray's condition improving: Munde:
Meanwhile, Rajesh Karkera reports that BJP leader Gopinath Munde has said that Bal Thackeray's health is improving. Munde said Uddhav Thackeray told him so, adds Abhishek Mande.
On the sidelines, Mande reports, a makeshift platform is being erected for the journalists to position their cameras right outside matoshree inside the MHADA complex.
In this latest picture sent by Rajesh Karkera, one could see the heavy police and RAF deployment outside Matoshree.
10:09 Mahim's petrol pumps shut, portable loos come up on road:
reports that petrol pumps on Mahim's main road have been shut down, and portable washrooms have been kept on LJ Road that leads towards Shivaji Park. Four washrooms are being placed at the maidan, whose association with the Shiv Sena goes back to its origins. Preparing for a long procession on the road, perhaps?
09:34 Loudspeakers being mounted outside Matoshree:
Rediff.com's Abhishek Mande reports that activity around Matoshree has suddenly escalated as loudspeakers are seen being mounted.
Are we inching closer to some official announcement?
09:11 Big B 'injured' outside Matoshree:
Indian Express: Cine superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who was amongst the first to rush to Matoshree to ask about the welfare of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray after news of his being put on life support spread, was met by an angry crowd gathered around Matoshree.
Bachchan, who had appealed to the crowd to remain calm, was roughed up by an angry group, which had become quite emotional after news about Thackeray's deteriorating health spread. Big B was injured, his kurta torn and he received slight injuries on his arm.
However, the nature of the injuries were not serious, with Bachchan himself tweeting that he was treated by the doctors at Matoshree itself for cuts and bruises, and that he was all right.
Read more here:
09:11 Huge crowd outside Matoshree: Rediff.com's Abhishek Mande
sends another picture of huge crowd, consisting of Shiv Sainiks and well-wishers, which has gathered outside Matoshree. Although the number of people haa slightly thinned since last night, heavy police and RAF deployment is seen outside Bal Thackeray's residence.
08:51 Gopinath Munde, Nana Patekar visit Matoshree:
Rediff.com's Abhishek Mande sends this picture of senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde seen entering Matoshree.
Marathi TV channels reported actor Nana Patekar also visited Bal Thackeray's residence.
08:42 Heavy police deployment outside Matoshree:
Rediff.com's Abhishek Mande, who is reporting from outside Matoshree, sends this picture of heavy police deployment outside Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's residence in suburban Bandra.
Menawhile, Indian Express also tweets, Bal Thackeray critical: Police visibility has increased outside Matoshree with Rapid Action Commandos forming the first cover.
07:05 Prayers needed for Balasaheb now, tweets Big B: CNN-IBN:
Amitabh Bachchan who spent quite a few hours at the Thackeray's residence along with his son Abhishek later tweeted that prayers were needed at this hour. He said, "Balasaheb Thackeray: a fighter all his life, fights his life!! Prayers needed now!"
07:03 Balasaheb has strong willpower: Uddhav:
Speaking to Shiv Sainiks at 2 am this morning Shiv Sena Working President Uddhav Thackeray said his father Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray has "strong willpower and will come out of this." Mr Balasaheb Thackeray's condition has been described as extremely critical since Wednesday night. "We are hopeful," Udhav said,"Don't trust rumours. Make peace."
06:56 'Smuggler' swallows 220 diamonds in SA:
BBC: South African police have arrested a man who they say swallowed 220 polished diamonds in an attempt to smuggle them out of the country.
The man was arrested as he waited to board a plane at Johannesburg airport. Officials said a scan of his body revealed the diamonds he had ingested, worth $2.3m (1.4m; 1.8m euros), inside.
Read more here
06:54 Morocco army helicopter crash kills nine:
AFP: Nine people were killed and two seriously injured in a military helicopter crash in the Guelmim area of southwest Morocco, medical sources said.
The cause of the accident was not immediately known. Eight of the aircraft's 11 passengers were killed on the spot, said the sources on condition of anonymity late on Wednesday. Of three people who were taken to hospital, one died of injuries.
05:10 How religion killed pregnant Savita Halappanavar:
The story of Savita Halappanavar is the story religious conservatives across the world do not want you to consider.
In their minds, when they are denying reproductive rights, they want you to envision rescuing adorable babies.
The 31-year-old dentist living in Galway, Ireland, was 17 weeks pregnant when she appeared at her University Hospital on October 21, complaining of pain. Doctors there determined that she was miscarrying, but would not remove the fetus because it still had a heartbeat.
Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar, told reporters that the hospital staff informed the couple that "This is a Catholic country."
03:34 6.1 earthquake jolts Chile:
A strong 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck off Chile's central-north area, but authorities said no injuries or damage were reported and discounted the possibility of a tsunami.
The US Geological Survey said the quake's epicentre was 88 km north of Coquimbo, Chile, and had a depth of 61 km. It struck yesterday shortly after 4 pm local time. The quake was mildly felt in the capital of Santiago, where it shook buildings and in several regions from the Atacama desert in the north to the port of Valparaiso.
Chile's emergency services office said no damages to infrastructure were immediately reported and the country's oceanographic service dismissed the possibility of a tsunami.
02:24 Balasaheb has strong willpower. Let's pray: Uddhav:
"We are hopeful. You be hopeful. Let's pray."
This is what Bal Thackeray's son Uddhav said to people who assembled outside the ailing Shiv Sena patriarch's residence Matoshree in suburban Bandra late midnight.
"Balasaheb has strong willpower. We'll come out from the problem. Don't trust rumours. Make peace," Uddhav, accompanied by son Aditya, said.
Doctors treating the Sena leader had said that 86-year-old Thackeray was in a "very critical" condition and on life support system.
01:37 Crowd awaits news on Thackeray outside Matoshree:
Rediff.com's Abhishek Mande
, who is outside Matoshree, sent this photograph of the melee outside Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray's residence.
Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam said that the doctors were trying their best and urged Shiv Sainiks to remain calm.
Kadam's appeal came after supporters earlier targeted media vans stationed outside the bunglow by throwing stones at the vehicles and media persons.
01:21 We are safer because of what Petraeus has done: Obama:
Making his first public comment on the scandal that forced CIA Director Gen David Petraeus to quit because of an extra-marital affair, Obama praised the General for his extraordinary career.
"Gen Petraeus had an extraordinary career. He served this country with great distinction in Iraq, in Afghanistan and as head of the CIA. By his own assessment, he did not meet the standards that he felt were necessary as the director of CIA with respect to this personal matter that he is now dealing with his family and with his wife. And it's on that basis that he tendered his resignation and it's on that basis that I accepted it," he said.
"I want to emphasise that from my perspective, at least, he has provided this country an extraordinary service. We are safer because of the work that Dave Petraeus has done. And my main hope right now is that he and his family are able to move on and that this ends up being a single side-note on what has otherwise been an extraordinary career," Obama said
01:10 Israel declares war on Hamas via Twitter:
The Israeli Defence Forces took to Twitter to declare war on Hamas shortly after they launched a series of airstrikes against the Palestinian group's leadership.
The IDF released a tweet about the attacks well before any official press conference, calling the attack Operation Pillar of Defence, and saying it was targeting terrorists responsible for the many rocket attacks against Israeli civilians.
00:45 Thackeray clan, Bachchans at Matoshree:
Raj, Uddhav and other members of the Thackeray family are at Matoshree.
The hectic activity at the Thackeray residence has fueled speculations on the Shiv Sena chief's health.
Actor Amitabh Bachchan, considered close to the Thackeray family, and his actor-son Abhishek are at 'Matoshree'
00:18 Supporters gather outside Thackeray's residence:
Television Channels are reporting that a large number of party members and crowds have gathered outside Matoshri.
CNN-IBN reports that traffic to the residence of Thackeray has been blocked and there is heavy presence of police personnel in the area.
00:15 Concerns mount over Bal Thackeray's health:
Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's health has turned "very critical".
Thackeray, 86, is in a "very critical" condition, doctors treating the Sena leader told PTI.
As the news spread, several party workers assembled outside his residence, 'Matoshree', in suburban Bandra, where security has been stepped up.
Thackeray, who is ailing for sometime, continues to be under constant medical supervision.
A team of doctors stationed inside 'Matoshree' with nursing staff has been taking care of the Sena patriarch, who is having breathing problems.
Last month, he could not attend his party's annual Dussehra rally in Mumbai, but addressed it through a video recorded message.
Several leaders, including former President Pratibha Patil, have visited Thackeray's residence over the past few days to enquire about his health.