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Odisha seeks report on Andhra’s distribution of freebies in border villages

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A gram sabha in Niyamgiri region in Rayagada dist

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Wednesday sought a report from Koraput district administration after Andhra Pradesh government officials distributed freebies and money to the tribals in the area.

Describing the issue as “serious,” Revenue Minister Maheswar Mohanty asked the Koraput district collector to inquire into the matter and submit a report.

“I have sought a detailed report. A meeting of officials will be held after receiving the report,” he said.

The officials of the neigbouring state on Tuesday allegedly distributed blankets and pension to some people in the Kotia gram panchayat under Pottangi block on the Andhra-Odisha border, in a bid to allegedly motivate them to be included under Matrubhumi scheme launched by the Andhra government.

Vizianagaram Collector and other officials attended programme to observe ‘Maa Uru’ or Janambhumi at Kotia, being observed in Andhra Pradesh from January 2 to 11 every year.

As a cluster of around 21 villages of Kotia gram panchayat are located on Andhra-Odisha border, the neighbouring state has been trying to take those villages into their state.

“After we came to know that some officials of Andhra Pradesh visited the villages in Kotia gram panchayat, a team led by sub-collector was sent to the spot for inquiry,” said Koraput Collector Anupam Saha.

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