Patna: The four rebel JD(U) Legislators, served notice for termination of their membership on the charge of "consistent anti-party activities", today sounded unrepentant and said they were exploring legal options to challenge the "unconstitutional" step.
The four have been summoned by Speaker of the state Legislative Assembly Udai Narayan Choudhary on June 25 to reply to the show cause for termination of their membership.
The four -- Gyanendra Singh Gyanu, Rahul Kumar, Neeraj Singh Babloo and Ravindra Rai -- described the step as "unconstitutional" and said they would challenge it legally.
JD(U) Chief Whip Shrawan Kumar had in a letter to the Speaker yesterday recommended cancelling membership of the four dissident JD(U) MLAs out of a list of 18 against whom he had submitted report to the party for disciplinary action for anti-party activities during bypoll for two Rajya Sabha seats in Bihar. They had worked in tandem with BJP against party nominees.
Gyanendra Singh Gyanu, MLA from Barh in Patna district, who has emerged as leader of the dissidents camp, told PTI that the show cause was violation of anti-defection law which the Election Commission clearly said was not applicable in the RS bypoll.
He said he and other party legislators fighting for "cleaning" the party of "vested interest" were not afraid of such steps and would keep up their protests.
Ravindra Rai, MLA from Mahua in Vaishali district, charged former chief minister Nitish Kumar with practising "divide and rule" policy to weaken the voice of protests against him within the party.
"Even if my membership is terminated 100 times for fighting for democracry within the party, I am prepared for it," he told.
He claimed that though report has been submitted against 18 MLAs, nearly 31 legislators, including those who toed the party line after being "coerced" for voting in favour of official nominees in RS bypoll, have either met me or telephoned me expressing solidarity.
Two others, Rahul Kumar and Neeraj Singh Babloo, representing Ghosi and Chhatapur assembly constituency respectively, also challenged the action.
"This is in fact a conspiracy against Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi. By ending membership of four, JD(U) strength will come down to 113 excluding Speaker which means the government will be in minority," Rahul Kumar said.
Neeraj Singh Babloo termed the action as "pick and choose" to weaken protests within party.
Asked if and his colleagues repented the action, he said "not at all rather our respect has gone up among party workers in our areas."