Pradeep Pattanayak

With Odisha observing Utkal Dibasa with much pomp, the two major political parties in the State- the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD)- are pulling out all stops to celebrate the statehood day in the disputed Kotia region in Koraput district on Saturday. 

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is all set to visit Phatusineri in Kotia Panchayat and meet the people there. Thereafter, he will celebrate Utkal Dibasa at Kotia. As per the plan, six MLAs of the saffron party will join him in the celebration of the Odisha Foundation Day.   

The conch party is not behind in observing the special day in the disputed area. It will show its strength by taking the MLAs of Koraput district and all the ex-legislators. 

The BJD will celebrate Utkal Dibasa at Ganjeipadar village in Kotia Panchayat. Among others, BJD MLA of Koraput district, Special Development Council chairman Chandrasekhar Majhi and Nabarangpur MP Rameshchandra Majhi will take part in the celebration. 

“The major concern is not Kotia. What is more concerning is that all the people living in the areas bordering the neighbouring States wish to merge with their respective neighbouring States. It is because our welfare policies are not as good as those of the neighbouring States,” said Leader of Opposition (LoP) Jayanarayan Mishra. 

Potangi’s BJD MLA Pritam Padhi said, “Our aim is to keep Kotia people connected with Odisha and its identity. Another aim is to ensure the development of the people living in the Kotia region.”

In his reaction, Koraput MLA cum District Planning Committee Chairman, Raghuram Padal said, “We all the people’s representatives celebrate Utkal Dibasa in the disputed land of Kotia. Kotia’s development is our top priority.”

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