Narayan Rane, the Maharashtra heavyweight who exited the Congress last week, announced the formation of his political party, the Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha, on Sunday. The party is expected to support the BJP government in the state and pick up an invite to join Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's team.
Rane said it will work for the development of farmers, minorities and women. "We will register the party soon and will announce the flag and electoral sign as well," he said.
Narayan Rane was booted out of the Shiv Sena by its chief Bal Thackeray in 2005 for accusing the Sena founder of "blind love for his son", a reference to Uddhav Thackeray who now heads the Shiv Sena.
Rane had resigned from the Congress last month, upset at not being made the chief minister when he joined the party 12 years ago after leaving the Shiv Sena. The 65-year-old Konkan strongman was the chief minister in 1999 while in the Sena.
The former Shiv Sainik joined the Congress on July 26, 2005, and was the next day made revenue minister in the then Congress-led government in the state.