Bal Thackeray's critical condition notwithstanding, the Shiv Sena continued to be upbeat on Friday, with senior party leaders speaking of “a definite improvement” in the health of the 86-year old leader.

Speaking to reporters outside the Thackeray residence, ‘Matoshree,’ in suburban Bandra, MP Sanjay Raut said: “Balasaheb’s heartbeat, pulse rate and blood pressure are veering towards normalcy…it is an astounding recovery.”

“The prayers of the Sainiks are his [Balasaheb’s] tonic and the Shiv Sena is his bulwark of strength,” he said.

Senior Sena leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi said Mr. Thackeray’s health had shown “a perceptible improvement.”