Kotia rural polls : Odisha set to challenge AP s move in SC

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 9 (PTI) Odisha will approach Supreme Court challenging the notification issued by Andhra Pradesh State Election Commission to hold rural polls in three villages under Kotia gram panchayat in its tribal Koraput district.

Andhra Pradesh has fixed February 13 and 17 for holding the rural polls in the three villages.

The deputy secretary to the law department Bhagaban Nayak has written to the advocate on record (AOR) Sibo Sankar Mishra asking him to file the petition.

Mishra is the SC lawyer empanelled by the government of Odisha to appear for it in cases at the apex court.

Both states have been claiming their rights over the Kotia gram panchayat which comprise of 28 villages.

While Odisha claims that the three village are in its jurisdiction, Andhra Pradesh avers that they are located under Salur mandal in Vizianagaram district.

Odisha government has been objecting to Andhra Pradesh governments alleged move to lure the inhabitants of the Kotia cluster of villages by giving them additional rations and other benefits.

A case of border dispute between the two states over Kotia cluster of villages is sub-judice in SC Supreme Court.

Andhra pradesh State Election Commission has issued notification to hold panchayat elections in Talaganjeipadar, Phatuseneri and Phagunaseneri villages of Kotia gram panchayat on February 13 and 17.

Filing of nomination papers for it had concluded on Thursday, official sources said.

Meanwhile, Odisha Advocate General Ashok Parija on Sunday had a meeting with Koraput collector Madhusudan Mishra, ADM Deben Kumar Pradhan, Koraput panchayat officer and Public Prosecutor Bishnu Charan Patra.

Odisha Revenue and Disaster Minister Sudam Marandi had said that the state government will not allow an inch of its land to be misused by anybody including Andhra Pradesh government.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik recently inaugurated Rs 18 crore development projects for Kotia gram panchayat and laid the foundation stone for other projects worth Rs five crore for the region.

In 2018 Patnaik had announced a Rs 150 crore development package for Kotia and pledged to make it a model gram panchayat in the country. PTI AAM KK KK