Latching onto the growing chasm between senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse and his party, the Congress in Maharashtra on Wednesday gave him an open offer to join the party.
State Congress president and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said Khadse is welcome in the party fold provided he subscribes to the party ideology.
"Khadse is my old friend. We have been together in the Legislative Assembly since 1990. He was a competent leader of opposition. He is a leader with a mass base. If he accepts the Congress' ideology then he is welcome," Mr Thorat told reporters.
He was referring to Mr Khadse's claim that the Congress, one of the constituents in the Shiv Sena-led state government, had approached him with a nomination for the May 21 Legislative Council elections.
Mr Khadse had alleged that a clique of state BJP leaders scuttled his nomination for the polls.
Hitting back on Wednesday, state BJP president Chandrakant Patil said the party had given enough to Mr Khadse and that he can now serve as a consultant for young party leaders.