Year after voting in AP rural polls, Kotia villagers to exercise franchise in Odisha panchayat elections

In 2006, the apex court held that inter-state boundaries did not fall within its jurisdiction and only the Parliament could resolve them, as it imposed a permanent injunction on the disputed area.In August last year, the Odisha government deployed police and erected barricades in Kotia after the Andhra Pradesh administration attempted to launch several schemes in the area.


PTI | Bhubaneshwar | Updated: 18-01-2022 17:54 IST | Created: 18-01-2022 17:54 IST
Year after voting in AP rural polls, Kotia villagers to exercise franchise in Odisha panchayat elections
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A year after voting in the Andhra Pradesh rural elections, residents of disputed villages in Kotia gram panchayat area will now exercise their franchise in the upcoming Odisha panchayat elections.

The Andhra Pradesh government had held rural elections in villages in Kotia gram panchayat area, claimed by both the states, in February last year despite the Odisha administration's objection citing a Supreme Court directive to maintain status quo in the disputed area.

''Residents of villages like Madkar, Daliamba, Barnapadu, Patusineri and Konadara under Kotia gram panchayat had voted in the Andhra Pradesh rural polls. Now, they will also vote in the Odisha panchayat elections,'' an official in Koraput district said.

Odisha State Election Commissioner (SEC) A P Padhi has issued special directions to officials concerned for conducting peaceful polls in Kotia gram panchayat area in Koraput district, and Chitrakonda block of Malkangiri district, official sources said.

Padhi has issued the directions during a recent review of the situation in all the 30 districts of the state before holding the rural polls in mid-February, they said.

Polling could not be held in two zilla parishads, comprising 18 gram panchayats, of Chitrakonda block in the 2017 panchayat elections due to the situation created by Left-wing Extremists.

Special preparations be made to ensure that the election process starting with nominations are held smoothly in Chitrakonda block, Padhi was quoted as saying.

Maoist posters calling on people in tribal-dominated districts to boycott the panchayat elections were seized from some pockets, a senior police officer said.

Similarly, Padhi has also asked the collector and SP of Koraput to lay special emphasis on conducting peaceful elections in Kotia gram panchayat in Pottangi block.

''The collectors and SP of the both the districts may appraise the prevailing situation in the aforesaid blocks,'' he added.

The dispute over the ownership of 21 of the 28 villages under Kotia gram panchayat had first reached the Supreme Court in 1968. In 2006, the apex court held that inter-state boundaries did not fall within its jurisdiction and only the Parliament could resolve them, as it imposed a permanent injunction on the disputed area.

In August last year, the Odisha government deployed police and erected barricades in Kotia after the Andhra Pradesh administration attempted to launch several schemes in the area. The southern state had announced the results of the panchayat polls it held in Kotia. There have been several flare-ups last year over the ownership of 21 of the 28 villages under Kotia gram panchayat, which is claimed by both Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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