Kotia issue may dominate Odisha assembly budget session

Bhubaneswar: The Budget session of Odisha Assembly beginning today is likely to be stormy as the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress are all set to corner the state government over the border dispute with Andhra Pradesh.

Despite the opposition of the Odisha government, the neighbouring state recently conducted Panchayat polls in three villages of Kotia panchayat in the Pottangi block of Koraput district.

Opposition parties alleged that this happened owing to the weak leadership at the top.

“It is very sad that Andhra Pradesh conducted rural polls in our state. It is even providing education and disbursing monthly pension to the people of our state. The inefficiency of the state government is responsible for this. We will raise the Kotia issue in the state Assembly,” leader of opposition Pradipta Naik told IANS.

Naik also wrote a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urging him to ensure basic amenities such as education, healthcare, road, pucca houses and drinking water for residents in border areas.

He also proposed setting up the ‘Kotia Cluster Development Authority’ to resolve the Kotia row.

Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Niranjan Patnaik said the Chief Minister and BJD leaders should be ashamed of themselves for allowing the Andhra Pradesh government to make inroads in Kotia.

“The BJD government failed to ensure Odia education for our children in Kotia region of Koraput. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and BJD leaders should be ashamed of themselves for allowing the Andhra Pradesh government to make inroads in Kotia, start school and teach Telugu,” said Patnaik.

Congress will hold its legislative party meeting in the evening.

Senior BJD MLA Debi Prasad Mishra said the party is ready to discuss whatever issues to be raised by the opposition on the floor of the House.

“The BJD legislative party meeting will be held in the evening. We will discuss several issues and prepare the strategies for the budget session,” said Mishra.

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.

Andhra Pradesh held panchayat elections in three villages Talaganjeipadar, Patusineri and Phagunseneri in Kotia gram panchayat. It has changed their names to Ganjeibadara, Pattuchennuru and Pagluchennuru.


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