Pradeep Pattanayak

While Kotia gram panchayat in Koraput district is still an apple of discord between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, the neighbouring state is still going on its own way by infiltrating into the region as the Odisha government is allegedly looking the other way. 

In the latest incident, stickers of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy were seen being put up on the pucca houses constructed under Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana in Talaganjeipadar village of the disputed panchayat. 

Currently, four houses are being constructed in Talaganjeipadar village. The beneficiaries claimed that they have received money for two houses from Andhra Pradesh government, for the rest two houses from the Odisha government. 

“We are constructing houses under Indira Awas Yojana. For two houses, we have received money from the Odisha government and the AP government has allocated money for the rest two,” said a beneficiary. 

“Andhra Pradesh has been putting up posters on houses constructed under Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana. On the other hand, the Odisha government is in deep slumber. God knows when they would get up,” rued Bhagaban Gollory, a Kotia resident. 

While these posters are misleading the people, the Andhra government has been throwing an open challenge to the Odisha government. 

“It is a matter of serious concern that neither the block administration nor the district administration is taking a strong stand on this issue. I will raise the issue in the next Zilla Parishad meeting,” said Tikai Gemei, Zilla Parishad member, Pottangi. 

In this regard, Jeypore MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati trained his guns on both the BJP and BJD governments in the Centre and state respectively. 

“If Andhra CM’s logo is pasted on houses constructed under Odisha Awas Yojana (Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana), there could be no more condemnable incident. For this, both the State and Central governments are responsible,” said Bahinipati. 

On the other hand, both the BJP and the BJD responded. 

“Andhra Pradesh is forcefully carrying out its work. What pains us is that the Odisha government has never opposed anything. If the Odisha government has provided funds for the Awas Yojana house, why it didn’t oppose the Andhra Pradesh government’s act of putting up posters?,” said BJP leader Bhrugu Baxipatra. 

“It is a serious matter. The Odisha government has provided houses to the people under Awas Yojana. I strongly condemn their act of putting up stickers on our houses,” said Pottangi’s BJD MLA Pitam Padhi.