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Andhra Pradesh opens polling booths in disputed Odisha panchayat

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Koraput, May 7:

Taking advantage of the callousness of the Odisha government, the Andhra Pradesh government has opened polling booths in the bordering Kotia panchayat in Koraput district for the Vizianagaram Lok Sabha and Salur Assembly seats for the eighth phase polls that began Wednesday morning.

Expressing resentment and anger over the gross apathy of the state government and the district administration for its inaction over the matter, a number of local organizations have threatened a massive agitation, reports said.unnamed

According to reports, the AP government has opened polling booths at Neredi Kothavalasa village where the people of 21 disputed villages would cast their votes.

It may be mentioned that the Odisha government had not set up polling booths in Neredi Kothavalasa in Kotia panchayat after 2009 general elections as cases on the 21 disputed villages of the panchayat are subjudice.

On the other hand, the Andhra government had set up polling booths at Sarke and Tamana where the people of these 21 villages had cast their votes in the last Assembly elections.

Later, the neighbouring state government, had also opened booths at Phagunasineri, Ganjeipadar, Mahipani and Doliamba villages of Kotia panchayat during its panchayat elections.

It may be mentioned that the Odisha government had set up polling booths at Kotia, Ganjeipadar, Phagunasineri, Madkar, Doliamba and Mahipani villages under Kotia panchayat in the first phase elections in April 10 this year.

Barring Madkar, polling was peaceful in the remaining booths.

In the 2009 general elections, the Odisha government had opened 9 booths while in the panchayat elections in 2012, it had opened 12 booths in Kotia panchayat.

However, the polling booths set up by the Andhra government in the eighth phase polls at Neredi Kothavalasa for the people of 21 villages of Kotia panchayat has triggered widespread resentment among the people in Koraput district.

When asked about the matter, Koraput collector Yamini Sarangi said she has directed the BDO of Pottangi for investigation.

“After the report is received from the BDO, the state government will be apprised of the matter”, she added.