Shiv Sena founder-chief Bal Thackeray passes away

Shiv Sena founder-chief Bal ThackerayBal Thackeray, founder and supreme head of the Shiv Sena, passed away at his residence Matoshree in suburban Bandra around 3.30 pm today. Thackeray (86) was critically ill and had been on life support for the past few days.

In fact, Thackeray was not keeping well since July when he was admitted to the Lilavati Hospital where he was being treated for ailments related to both the lungs and pancreas.

Balasaheb, as Thackeray is popularly known as the Hindu Hriday Samrat (ruler of Hindu hearts), founded the Shiv Sena in 1966 and transformed it from a Mumbai-based outfit to a formidable political force both within Maharashtra and outside the state.

After his demise, son Uddhav is reported to have been taken ill.

Close family members, including nephew Raj Thackeray and his wife, were by his side.

Thackeray is survived by two sons, Uddhav and Jaidev and their families. While Uddhav who now runs the Sena, lived with Thackeray, Jaidev moved out several years ago and the father-son shared strained ties. Thackeray's another son Bindumadhav died in an accident 15 years ago. His family also lives in Mumbai.