The Forward Bloc in Jharkhand has withdrawn its support to Chief Minister Madhu Koda's government over legislator Bhanu Pratap Shahi's entry into the cabinet.
While the move might not pull the government down, it may create a fresh political crisis in future. The Koda government currently enjoys a razor thin majority and a single legislator vote can decide its survival.
In the 82-member house, Koda enjoys the support of 42 legislators including the speaker. The opposition has 40 legislators, which includes one legislator each of Forward Bloc and Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML).
The Forward Bloc had earlier warned Koda against elevating Bhanu Pratap as minister. But Bhanu Pratap replaced his father Hemendra Pratap Shahi as minister on Thursday. And within a few hours of his elevation, the Forward Block announced their withdrawal of support.
Bhanu Pratap is an expelled legislator of the Forward Block.
"There is no threat to the government. We will try to pacify the Forward Block and convince them to continue their support," said Sudhir Mahto, deputy chief minister and senior Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader.
But BJP state president PN Singh said: "The Forward Bloc's move is just an eye wash. Why didn't they withdraw support when his father was made minister?"
Bhanu Pratap had been facing arrest warrants in three cases. When his name was put up for a minister's post last year, Governor Syed Sibte Razi raised objections.
To placate him, his father was made a cabinet minister though Hemendra Pratap was not a legislator.
Bhanu Pratap surrendered in the Garwah district court last year and got bail in all three cases last month.