Mumbai: ‘Owner of Mumbai’, Balasaheb Thackeray, has breathed his last on Saturday 3:30 PM here at his residence ‘Matoshree’ in suburban Bandra. Various political personalities made a beeline to ‘Matoshree’ to pay their last tribute to the late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, who had been critical for the last two weeks.
Senior party leaders and Bal Thackeray’s nephew Raj Thackeray, along with family members and other political leaders, rushed to ‘Matoshree’ following the veteran leader’s death. “Maharashtra has lost a veteran, experienced leader….He was a politician, cartoonist, editor, organiser as well as art-lover and orator,” Chief Minister PrithvirajChavan said.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has cancelled the dinner for BJP leaders to be held today while condoling the death of Bal Thackeray.
On behalf of the entire Congress party PM said, “Thackeray had a key role to play in politics.”
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said Thackeray was a strong patriot and a good cartoonist who carved an identity of his own in Maharashtra. “He had great affection towards me and was a guide for me,” Modi said, offering his condolences.
Leader of the Opposition in the LokSabhaSushmaSwaraj has termed the divine soul as a ‘lion’ and also paid him homage by saying “terribly pained to hear lion is dead.”
Union Home Minister SushilkumarShinde said that Thackeray, as cartoonist, arrived on the scene like a storm after the collapse of communists in Mumbai, and took forward the legacy of his reformist father, ‘Prabodhankar’ Thackeray.
Shinde said he knew Thackeray for over four decades, and always felt he will survive the current bout of illness.
“He considered King Shivaji his idol. He worked for the people all his life. We took inspiration from him while governing in Maharashtra,” said BJP chief NitinGadkari, who served as a PWD minister in the saffron alliance government in the state between 1995-1999.