Despite the four-year suspension of four party MLAs, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Monday remained defiant and vowed to challenge the matter in the courts, a party official said.

“We regret this action of the house on the issue of Maharashtrian pride which we raised in the Assembly today. Our lawyers shall look into the matter and the party will decide the appropriate course of action,” party spokesman Shirish Parker told media persons on Monday evening.

The Maharashtra Assembly, on the first day of the first session of the new House, unanimously approved a proposal suspending four MNS legislators for four years and banning their entry into Mumbai and Nagpur whenever the sessions are held in these cities.

The four legislators are: Shishir Shinde, Ram Kadam, who had slapped and punched Samajwadi Party member Abu Asim Azmi, Vasant Gite and Ramesh Banjle.

Reacting to the House decision, Mr. Shinde asked mediapersons why should they (the four MLAs) be only suspended and why their legislatorships were not cancelled.

MNS group leader Bala Nandgaonkar said that Mr. Shinde had not even taken oath as an MLA and he had been placed under suspension.

He said that for all Marathi-loving people, the suspensions of the MNS legislators would instill “a sense of pride”.

Mr. Nandgaonkar vowed that after Monday’s developments, the party’s determination to pursue the cause of Maharashtrians and Marathi-speaking people would get a further boost and support from the people.

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