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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Politics heated up in Odisha on Wednesday following the highly anticipated meeting between the Chief Ministers of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday.

While the Congress termed the meeting as ‘eyewash’, the BJP has hit at it by saying that it was a mistake on the part of CM Naveen to sit across the table without setting the agenda straight.

It is pertinent to mention here that in a first in recent times, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy called on his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik on November 9 in Bhubaneswar to discuss several pending issues between the two states.

While all eyes were on Naveen Patnaik to rake up the issue of AP’s encroachment in Kotia and other bordering areas of Odisha on the discussion table, the decision to constitute of a high-level committee comprising the Chief Secretaries of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh to deliberate on the outstanding issues, has irked the Opposition in the State.

Congress leader and Kantabanji MLA, Santosh Singh Saluja termed the meeting ‘eyewash’ and said, “We had expected many contentious issues to resolve in the meeting. But the meeting was held for two minutes and the issues were left for the bureaucrats to resolve.”

Similarly, BJP leader Bhrugu Baxipatra said, “the Odisha government should not have sit for discussions with Andhra Pradesh without any prior terms and conditions. Jagan Reddy was here to seek help for Neradi barrage and most probably he got what he came here for.”

“With such kind of attitude for Kotia and the issues surrounding the border areas, it is doubtful if Odisha would be able to hold the Panchayat polls there in 2022,” said Baxipatra.

However, the meeting between the two Chief Ministers was claimed to be a success by the government.

As per a joint statement issued by both the governments, several issues, including Polavaram and Janjavathi project and Kotia border dispute were discussed during the meeting.

Moreover, both the states decided to work closely on resolving issues like the Kotia group of villages, Neradi Barrage, Jhanjavathi Reservoir, Polavaram, release of water for Bahuda river, mutual NOCs for the Balimela and Upper Sileru in energy sector, the statement added.

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