Opposition corners Odisha govt over border dispute issue

The opposition parties on Wednesday cornered the Odisha government over the border dispute issue with Andhra Pradesh and other states.

Participating in an adjournment motion over the border dispute issue, leader of opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik said Odisha has border disputes with four states over 96 villages.

“We don’t see any action by the state government to resolve the issue. In Kotia panchayat, the dispute is over 21 villages and Andhra Pradesh conducted panchayat polls there,” said Naik.

Informing that there are no basic facilities including road and drinking water, the leader of opposition said the villagers are alienating Odisha as the state government has neglected them.

On the other hand, the Andhra Pradesh government is providing better facilities to them, he added.

Opposition chief whip Mohan Charan Majhi said due to negligence and lack of foresight by the state government, neighbouring states are intruding into the territory of Odisha.

Participating in the motion, Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati said the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is only concerned about the party.

“Under BJD rule, land and water are not safe. Why did the state government not deploy police and direct that the villagers can’t vote when Andhra Pradesh conducted polls in Kotia? An all-party meeting should be called to discuss the issue,” said Bahinipati.

Replying to the adjournment motion, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Sudam Marndi said Odisha is facing border disputes with four states in seven districts.

The districts are Koraput, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Ganjam, Gajapati, Keonjhar and Nuapada.

On the Kotia issue, the Minister said the state government has moved the Supreme Court by filing a contempt petition and sought four weeks time from the apex court to reply to the claims made by Andhra Pradesh government.

The Minister said the Andhra Pradesh government has submitted an affidavit on this matter on February 17.

However, the Odisha government has sought four weeks time from the apex court to submit a counter-affidavit.