New Delhi: Maharashtra politics is up for a major churning as speculations are rife that BJP deputy leader in Lok Sabha and the face of the party in Maharashtra, Gopinath Munde was inching towards joining the Congress.

Political circles in both Maharashtra and New Delhi are abuzz with rumours that the Marathwada strongman and a leader with stronghold over the state OBCs is already in talks with Congress about the formulae and conditions to be adopted for his entry into the grand-old party.

Though, the Congress has not yet reached a final decision but the party leadership is giving it a serious thought.

Looking for a mass leader in the Marathwada, the Congress doesn’t want to lose the opportunity as Munde has been one of the major players in the state politics for long.

As of now, the Congress is mulling over the political gains and losses after Munde’s inclusion in the party and has opened all channels of communication with him.

Political Advisor to Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel is in talks with Maharashtra Congress in-charge Mohan Prakash in this regard.

According to sources, Munde’s emissaries have already communicated the leader’s terms and conditions on which he is willing to join the party.

Munde camp claims that three Members of Parliament and 15 legislators of BJP would switch over to Congress with him.

The step of defecting with two-third of the party legislators is sure to give a jolt to BJP president Gadkari with whom Munde has been at loggerheads since long.

As per sources, the wishlist of Munde includes two state Cabinet seats and one seat in the Union Cabinet.

However,Munde has also hinted at forming his own party.

In the Congress camp, the feeling is that the rightist background of Munde would not be a big issue to deal with as it has been same case with firebrand Shiv Sena leader Narayan Rane.

While a one-to -one talk between Munde and a Congress leader soon cannot be ruled out, the ruling party at the Centre is buying time to ascertain whether Munde is using it just for blackmailing his own party.

JPN/Bureau