The corporators were led by Ravindra Phatak, the party strongman in the city and a staunch supporter of Industry Minister Narayan Rane.

Welcoming them to the party fold, Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray said "We have not tried to break the (Congress) party in Thane, they have come on their own."

"Now, he needs to exercise restraint and join a party where he can get some peace," Thackeray said referring to Rane.

Unfazed by the development, Rane said "Anybody is free to go to any party".

Thane legislator and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde criticised Rane, alleging that the minister has ‘lost his mental balance’.

Besides Phatak and his wife, others who joined the Shiv Sena on Saturday are Deepak Vatkar, Raja Gawari, Kanchan Chindkar, Manpreet Kaur and Minal Sankhe.

Rane has already announced that he would quit as minister on Monday.


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