Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday urged the Odisha government to take timely steps to protect the geographical boundary of the state.

He hoped the legal course of action for Kotia Panchayat would be taken to its logical conclusion by the state administration.

The statement of Pradhan came a day after Andhra Pradesh held Panchayat polls in the disputed region of Kotia in Koraput district and other bordering villages of the state.

“Andhra Pradesh’s effort to involve Odisha people in its Panchayat polls by invading into the geographical border in Koraput, Ganjam and Gajapati is a matter of great concern. The border dispute with Andhra and other neighbouring states has developed a bitter relationship. The situation may get worse if the Chief Minister doesn’t take timely step,” Pradhan tweeted.

Pradhan called upon leaders of all political parties in Odisha, social organisations and activists to work collectively for safeguarding the border.

He also said that the local administration should work to implement the government welfare scheme in the border region to ensure development in these areas.

Notably, the state government has moved the Supreme Court, which issued a notice to the Andhra Pradesh government to file its response on a contempt petition filed by Odisha.

Odisha has sought action against the neighbouring state over its violation of the apex court order in 1968 and 2006.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the matter on February 19.

Andhra Pradesh held Panchayat elections in three villages Talaganjeipadar, Patusineri and Phagunseneri in Kotia Gram Panchayat under Pottangi block. It has changed their names to Ganjeibadara, Pattuchennuru and Pagluchennuru.

–IANS

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