The YSR Congress has lashed out at TDP for encouraging defections, hours after one of its MP-elect S.P.Y. Reddy (Nandyal) formally joining TDP and another, Butta Renuka (Kurnool), stopping short of defecting but announcing her decision to be an associate member of TDP without quitting YSRC.

The poaching of YSR Congress-elected representatives by the TDP was not only undemocratic but unethical too and it would attract the provisions of the anti-defection law, YSRC MP-elects Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy and Kottapalli Geetha said here on Sunday. Instead of concentrating on finding ways and means to implement its poll promises, the TDP was encouraging defections of YSR Congress leaders into it, they alleged.

“TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu is poaching on YSRC turf despite having a comfortable majority. It exposes Mr. Naidu’s lack of faith in democratic principles,” they told reporters. Though anyone could opt for any party in a democracy, the representatives elected on one party symbol should quit their posts and seek fresh mandate before formally joining a party other than on which they were elected, the YSR Congress leaders felt.

If Mr. Naidu was aiming at a weak Opposition it would simply show his attitude towards the democratic institutions, Mr. Rajamohan Reddy said, adding that a government would function better only if a viable and vibrant Opposition was in place. “Even I have crossed over from Congress to YSRCP and quit my post immediately. However, my resignation was kept pending for a long time and I was elected on YSRCP ticket later. It is a fair democratic practice,” Mr. Rajamohan Reddy said.

Ms. Geetha brushed aside reports that she was also planning to cross over to TDP.