A day after the four Rajya Sabha members of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) merged with the BJP, the Congress on Friday accused the Centre's ruling party of "denigrating" the Constitution by its conduct.
"As the flagbearer and nurturer of the Constitution, Congress strongly questions the 'Culture of Defection' (instead of Election!) systematically being cultivated by the BJP. Defections are founded upon threats, coercion, money power, muscle power and enticements," Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a statement in New Delhi.
"Horse trading is now the bedrock of BJP's so-called 'expansion'. This reprehensible phenomenon, sans any ideological moorings, is the murder of the Constitution and Democracy."
Noting that post the 2019 mandate, the BJP must realise that people of India have given them more responsibility than ever to uphold the Constitutional norms and ethos, Surjewala said: "However, its conduct in the past five years and now has been simply the opposite."
The latest instance is the "illegal and unconstitutional manner in which it engineered defections among the Rajya Sabha MPs belonging to the TDP in an attempt to manufacture majority in the Rajya Sabha", he added.
The Congress leader then also shared 10 alleged incidents of defections engineered by the BJP, citing the examples of West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa, Karnataka, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra and Telangana.
Four TDP Rajya Sabha members -- Y S Chowdary, C M Ramesh, T G Venkatesh and G Mohan Rao -- met Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday to submit their resignation from the TDP and request to be merged with the BJP.