Andhra Pradesh Holds Panchayat Polls In Disputed Kotia
Andhra Pradesh Holds Panchayat Polls In Disputed Kotia

Bhubaneswar:  Notwithstanding opposition from the Odisha government, the Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday held panchayat elections in disputed Kotia gram panchayat.

Andhra Pradesh is holding panchayat elections in three villages Talaganjeipadar, Patusineri and Phagunseneri in Kotia gram panchayat. It has changed their names to Ganjeibadara, Pattuchennuru and Pagluchennuru. The Kotia area has 21 villages.

Notably, elections were held in Kotia area despite Koraput district Collector warning his Vizianagaram counterpart not to go ahead as the matter is currently sub-judice in the Supreme Court.

Villagers of Patusineri under Kotia gram panchayat in Pottangi block were seen queuing up at polling booths in the morning to cast their votes even after efforts by Potangi BDO and Tehsildar to convince the villagers not to participate in the electoral process. Police and poll officials from Andhra Pradesh were deployed in Kotia gram panchayat.

Pottangi block Chairman Jagatjyoti Pangi said Andhra Pradesh is holding rural polls on Saturday despite the opposition from the Odisha government.

On Friday, Koraput district Collector Abdaal Akhtar had written to his Vizianagaram counterpart M. Hari Jawaharlal appealing not to conduct the elections in the disputed region of Kotia.

Also note, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a plea on Andhra Pradesh invading Odisha’s territory on February 19. On Friday, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Andhra Pradesh government to file its response on a contempt petition filed by Odisha, which has sought action against the neighboring state over its violation of the Supreme Court order in 1968 and 2006.

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