Andhra Deputy CM once again visits Kotia, adds fuel to territorial dispute with Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Peedika Rajanna Dora once again visited Kotia group of villages under Pottangi block of Odisha’s Koraput district amid the ongoing territorial dispute between the two states.

Dora visited Kotia a few days after logos of Andha government containing the picture of Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy were pasted on concrete houses provided by Odisha government to poor villagers of Talasembi and Uparsembi under the panchayat.

Accompanied by the supporters of YSR Congress, the ruling party in Andhra Pradesh, and senior officials of the neighbouring state, Dora today visited Phatu Sineri, Phagun Sineri and Kanadora villages of Kotia and enquired about the implementation of welfare measures introduced by his government in the locality.

A group of villagers, including women, reportedly welcomed Dora and raised slogans to praise Andhra CM Jaganmohan Reddy.

“Odisha and Andhra Pradesh are brothers,” said Dora while interacting with the villagers.

Some people reportedly dump huge quantities of soil and sand near a bridge at Madkari village in an attempt to prevent Odisha officials to reach Kotia and raise any type of objection to Dora’s visit to the disputed area.

Congress leader and Jeypore MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati blamed the state government’s negligence for the frequent visits of Andhra officials and ministers to Kotia panchayat.

“This is very unfortunate. The local administration was well aware that Andhra Deputy CM would visit Kotia on May 1. But, the Odisha police and a SDPO placed at Kotia did not do anything in this regard. The Odisha government and the Chief Minister should take immediate steps to prevent any kind of unauthorized entry to Kotia,” he said.

It is worth mentioning here that Dora had visited Dhoolipadar village of Kotia on February 9 this year and informed people regarding the welfare schemes of Andhra Pradesh.

Both Odisha and Andhra Pradesh are engaged in a five-decade-long tussle over the ownership of Kotia group of villages. Both the states have been claiming their territorial control over Kotia since early 1960s.

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