Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's insistence on rotation of the Chief Minister's post has forced the BJP leadership to withhold announcement of its Chief Ministerial candidate and begin a round of consultations on the JMM's offer. Rajnath Singh and Ananth Kumar, two BJP central observers who returned here from Ranchi, briefed party president Nitin Gadkari on the JMM's stand. Mr. Gadkari on Wednesday began the process of consultations with party leaders.

A meeting was held at Mr. Rajnath Singh's residence where, besides Mr. Gadkari, Ananth Kumar, Karuna Shukla and Saudan Singh were present. One view is that there will be no harm in the BJP conceding the JMM's demand, if the BJP gets the Chief Ministership for the next two-and-a-half years. There is no way the party will agree to allow the JMM, which has been holding the post for the past five months, to complete the tenure.

Though consultations to choose a BJP Chief Minister were completed in Ranchi on Tuesday , a meeting of the Parliamentary Board would be called only after a decision was taken on the “rotation” offer and after securing a letter of support from the JMM for a BJP Chief Minister.