Mumbai, November 17: Balasaheb Thackeray, 86, the founder and chief of the Shiv Sena, passed away on Saturday afternoon at his residence here after a prolonged illness.
Thackeray, a kingmaker and possibly the most powerful political leader in Maharashtra, had been ailing since July this year and was hospitalised for some time. He spent his last days at his official residence Matoshree in suburban Bandra.
He had been taken off life support systems on Thursday after his condition improved, but died of a cardiac arrest at 3:30pm on Saturday, according to Dr Jalil Parkar who was treating him.
“He had suffered a cardiac arrest… we could not revive him despite efforts,” Dr Parkar said. He had been suffering from respiratory problems and pancreatic disease.
Thackeray propounded the cause of Maharashtra for Maharashtrians. He began his professional career as a cartoonist, and later founded the Shiv Sena in 1966.
He is survived by sons Jaidev and Uddhav, who is the Executive President of the party.
Senior party leaders and Bal Thackeray's nephew Raj Thackeray along with family and other political leaders rushed to Matoshree.
Meanwhile, security has been stepped up in the metropolis in the wake of Thackeray's death. The police also made the mediapersons move to a distance from Matoshree.