Ailing Thackeray skips annual Sena rally, appeals for support to heirs
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Ailing Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray asked supporters at the party's annual Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park on Wednesday to "take care of Uddhav and Aditya the way they took care of him".
In a 20-minute pre-recorded speech broadcast at the rally late evening, the 86-year-old spoke of his failing health and made an emotional appeal to the Marathi manoos to keep loyalty to Sena intact. He said while he was mentally strong, health was failing him. Thackeray was admitted to Lilavati Hospital on July 24 after he complained of breathlessness. He was discharged on August 1.
Apologising to the gathering for not making it to the venue, he said, "What do I tell you? I really wanted to be there with all of you. Nothing has happened to my heart because it is with you. But I am tired. I cannot even walk and speak properly. There were times I addressed gatherings here at Shivaji Park for hours on end. But today I am not in that state."
However, he did not miss the opportunity to take a dig at Congress, the Gandhi family and Sharad Pawar. "India has become a nation of cheats. The panchkadi of Sonia, Rahul, Priyanka, Robert Vadra and Ahmed Patel should be removed from the country at the earliest," he said. He also took potshots at Sharad Pawar for his involvement in the Lavasa issue and his remark about Mumbai being a multi-lingual city.
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