I am not on ventilator: Bal Thackeray

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Stating that he had not "completely collapsed", ailing Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Monday admitted his health was "not that good" but denied that he was on a ventilator.

"My health is not that good, but I have not completely collapsed. I am not on a ventilator," Thackeray declared in a personalised edit in the party mouthpiece Saamna on Monday after reports in a section of the media that his health had deteriorated sharply and he had been put on a ventilator.

The 86-year-old has been suffering from breathing problems and other age-related complaints.

"I have nothing to hide on this issue. During the Dussehra rally last month, I took my party activists into confidence and made it clear publicly that my health was not too good," Thackeray said about his persisting health concerns.

He also admitted that a team of doctors was making efforts to improve his condition. However, he said he had not yet reached a stage requiring "artificial respiration" as the love and affection of his supporters was acting like "a breath of fresh air".

Thackeray said his son Uddhav (who is recuperating from an angioplasty performed a few days ago) was looking after him round-the-clock as other family members.

"Even (nephew) Raj Thackeray keeps coming regularly. Yesterday (Sunday), former president Pratibha Patil had come. I also read the newspapers as usual, but I don't speak on the phone, that's all," Thackeray said, assuring his health was stable.

Thackeray conveyed his Diwali greetings to the people of Maharashtra and his party activists, Raj had told mediapersons after visiting his uncle Sunday evening.

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