Matter sub-judice in SC: Defiant Andhra holds polls in Kotia

Koraput: Despite Odisha Government’s request not to conduct panchayat elections in bordering villages of Kotia Gram Panchayat under Pottangi Block in Koraput district, Andhra Pradesh Government executed its plan amid tight security in the disputed region.

In presence of Andhra electoral officials, the voting began at 6.00 AM today in five villages of Kotia. The villages include Madkar, Daliamba, Barnapadu, Patusineri and Konadara.

The voters were seen in a long queue in the morning to cast their votes even after efforts by Potangi BDO and Tehsildar to convince the villagers not to particpate in the electoral process, a ‘conspiracy’ by the neighbouring State. The security personnel of Andhra Pradesh were deployed at the polling stations.

According to source, the polls are underway since morning and it will continue till 3.00 PM.

Yesterday, Koraput Collector Abdaal Akhtar had written to his Vizianagaram counterpart appealing not to conduct the elections in the disputed region of Kotia as the matter is currently sub-judice in the Supreme Court.

“I am to bring to your attention that in Contempt Petition No. 172/2021 arising out of Original Suit No. 10/1968 (The State of Odisha Vs. M.Hari Jawaharlal and Others), the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has been pleased to issue notice to the State of Andhra Pradesh and post the case to Friday, the 19th February, 2021. In its oral observations, the Court has also observed that should the State of Andhra Pradesh go ahead with its plans as regards the subject mentioned above, necessary consequences will follow. The same was pronounced in the presence of counsel for the State of Andhra Pradesh. A copy of the associated case documents have been handed over to the counsel for the State of Andhra Pradesh,” the Collector wrote in the letter.

However, paying no attention to the request, the Andhra Pradesh Government conducted the panchayat polls to claim its jurisdiction rights over Kotia.

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