Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Bisweshwar Tudu on Saturday targeted Odisha Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Sudam Marndi over the latter’s alleged inactions in addressing the disputes surrounding Kotia in Koraput district. 

Tudu said, though the border conflict between Odisha and Andhra Pradesh over Kotia region has been razing, the State Revenue Minister is sitting tight though he (Marndi) himself belonged to the tribal community. “Still he is least bothered about the plight of the fellow tribal members living in the disputed border areas of the State,” Tudu charged.

Tudu slammed the State Minister stating that Marndi is not showing any personal interest in resolving the long-pending issue and instead, shedding fake tears. 

"The State minister himself belongs to the tribal community. If he cares for tribal, at least, he should have gone to the place and discussed the problems of the tribals residing in the disputed region," said Tudu.

Moreover, the Union Minister also alleged that Marndi is lacking self-confidence in handling the issue between the two neighbouring states. "He is staying away from the controversy stating that the CM will handle thing,” Tudu alleged.

Further, the Union Minister said, "Such an act by the State Minister is unfortunate and condemnable. Both CM (Naveen Patnaik) and Revenue Minister (Sudam Marndi) should have discussed matters and tried to resolve the issue. But due to their lack of concern and judgement, the dispute is getting stretched indefinitely."

However, Marndi's reaction over Tudu’s allegations couldn't be obtained.

Meanwhile, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is scheduled to meet his Andhra Pradesh counterpart YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on November 9.

It is pertinent to mention here that both Andhra Pradesh and Odisha have been claiming their sovereign rights over the area, which consists of 27 small tribal hamlets on the border. Earlier, the Andhra Pradesh State Election Commission had conducted Panchayat polls in the disputed area. Several reports have surfaced frequently that sheds light on the illegal intrusion of several government officials of the neighbouring state in the Kotia region.