YSR Congress Party MP P V Midhun Reddy today accused Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu of "buying" the party's MLAs.
He said Naidu, the head of the Telugu Desam Party, had earlier accused the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) of buying his MLAs in Telangana, but he was now "emulating" it by buying YSRCP MLAs in Andhra Pradesh.
"Except for one, all TDP MLAs in Telangana defected to the TRS. The same thing is happening in Andhra Pradesh. Our MLAs are being bought by the TDP," Reddy told PTI.
The TDP had 14 MLAs in Telangana.
Naidu criticised the TRS for "buying his MLAs like cattle in the market, but he and his party is doing the same thing in Andhra Pradesh", the YSR Congress Party MP said, adding that anti-defection law was not implemented effectively in the state.
"Though a law is in place to keep a check on such MLAs, what is happening is biased implementation, despite our repeated complaints," he said.
Twenty-four YSRCP MLAs have so far joined the TDP.
The latest entrant, Paderu MLA Giddi Eswari, said that she joined the Naidu-led party for its development agenda.
She said, "The YSRCP ignored her loyalty to the party and hard work. I joined the TDP to work under the leadership of Chandrababu Naidu, who is taking the state in the path of development."
Many of the legislators, who switched to the ruling party, were also given place in the state cabinet.
However, Reddy said the ruling party was indulging in such tactics to demoralise YSRCP chief Jagan Mohan Reddy.
"We are strong among the people, and the TDP is doing this to demoralise Jagan whose popularity among the masses was visible during the Praja Sankalpa Yatra which he began in November," he said.
A YSRCP Lok Sabha MP from Kurnool, Butta Renuka, who is still with the party, said every person has individual reason for taking their decisions.
"I have not changed the party, but just supporting the government. My interest and the party's decision did not match for the upcoming elections. My requirement is that I want to contest in parliamentary poll from the same constituency...Whichever party suits me I will join that. So I am doing my work on the ground as of now," Renuka told PTI.
Araku MP Kothapalli Geetha, who severed ties with the YSRCP, alleged that legislators "are being bought like vegetables in the market by the TDP".
"To make development in your constituency, why do you have to join a party. Everybody is joining other parties just for personal gains. What contributions are these MLAs making after defecting," Geetha told, citing harassment by the YSRCP as a reason for her exit.
"I did not associate with anyone yet and am continuing my work now," she added.
However, Midhun Reddy said these people's representatives were maintaining neutrality in the Assembly and Parliament just to circumvent anti-defection laws.
"No one is neutral. They are playing this game to evade the risk of coming under the scrutiny of anti-defection law," Reddy said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)