Andhra-Odisha border dispute can be resolved through discussion : AP Leg Council chairman

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 8 (PTI) With the border dispute between Odisha and Andhra Pradesh aggravated by the southern state's decision to hold rural polls in some of the villages in the area, the AP Legislative Council chairman Monday said the issue could be resolved through discussion between the two governments.

The Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council Chairman Mohammed Ahmed Shariff was here along with a team to hold a meeting with the Odisha government on language-based education in bordering villages of Rayagada, Gajapati, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Ganjam and Koraput districts.

In Hindustan any dispute between two states can be amicably settled through discussion. I will apprise the Andhra Pradesh chief minister on the concern expressed by the Odisha government, Shariff told reporters.

Odisha School and Mass Education Minister S R Dash, who attended the meeting, said Though the border dispute was not in the meeting's agenda I apprised the visitors on Andhra Pradesh governments attempt to hold rural polls in villages in Odisha's jurisdiction.

Dash spoke to the Andhra delegation about the jurisdiction dispute at Kotia panchayat under Pottangi block in tribal Koraput district.

Claiming that the people in the Kotia region are lured with different offers by the AP government to take part in panchayat polls of that state, Dash said he personally appealed to that state through the delegation to sort out the issue.

It was discussed in the meeting that around 80 lakh Telugu-speaking reside in the bordering Odisha districts and though teacher training centres has been set up in these districts, language teachers could not be appointed due to technical snag, an official said.

Similarly many Odias live in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh. Around 4,000 Odiya children studying in Andhra Pradesh, where they face similar situations in schools. There are a total 230 Odia schools in Andhra Pradesh where 130 Odia teachers are yet to be appointed, the meeting was informed.

Sharriff assured Dash that the Andhra government will take care of Odia students in their State.

Meanwhile, Odisha BJP vice-president Balabhadra Majhi blamed the Odisha government for the people in Kotia gram panchayat being allegedly in favour of Andhra Pradesh.

'The Kotia area people support Andhra Pradesh because they get facilities from that government,' Majhi sai.

He claimed that the Odisha government is not even aware that Andhra Pradesh has already accorded panchayat status to three villages in Kotia area and is all set to conduct elections on February 13 and 17 by changing their names.

Recently, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had inaugurated projects of Rs 13 crore and laid the foundation stone for projects being built at a cost of Rs five crore in Kotia gram panchayat. PTI AAM KK KK KK