A stream of eminent personalities from politics, films and corporate world reached the historic Shivaji Park ground in Mumbai to attend the last rites of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray.
NCP chief and Union Minister Sharad Pawar, BJP veteran L K Advani, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, megastar Amitabh Bachchan and industrialist Anil Ambani arrived at the sprawling ground in Dadar, which is a few metres away from the Sena headquarters.
BJP president Nitin Gadkari, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, BJP leaders Maneka Gandhi and Shahnawaz Hussain, senior Congress leader Dr D Y Patil and Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Eknath Khadse too were present at the funeral venue.
Union Minister Praful Patel, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitely, VHP leader Pravin Togadia, Congress leader Rajiv Shukla and Maharashtra PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal were also present.
Bollywood actor Nana Patekar alongside actor-director Mahesh Manjrekar and Riteish Deshmukh were also present.
The cortege of the Sena patriarch reached the Shivaji Park ground after over six hours long journey in the presence of lakhs of Shiv Sainiks and his followers.
Sena MLA cherishes rare gift from Sena supremo Bal Thackeray:
Vasai's Shiv Sena MLA and chief of the Shramajivi Sanghatana, Vivek Pandit has a prized possession -- a gift which he claims nobody ever received from Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray who passed away in Mumbai yesterday.
"Do you know? I got a very important gift from Balasaheb which nobody gets," he said, showing a ball pen which was gifted to him by Balasaheb Thackeray, when Pandit met him after his victory in the assembly elections.
The Sena supremo gave him a ball pen and told him, "This is a special sword I am giving you to fight evils in society. Make the maximum use of it," Pandit said.
Today when he remembers that special day, Pandit has tears in his eyes and feels that he received the best gift from the Sena supremo.
Talking to media persons, Pandit remembered the day when the Jaitapur agitation was on when the Sena supremo expressed his inability to particiapte in it, as he was 85 and not in good health.
"Had my health been better, I would have surely created a havoc for the sake of Jaitapur today, he said. Ultimately, he was a source of inspiration for us to carry on agitations," Pandit said.