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Saswat Singhdeo

Koraput: With elections around the corner, uncertainty is looming large over the voting pattern of the constituents of Kotia panchayat in Koraput district which has been in news for being intruded upon by Andhra Pradesh government.

After OTV’s report about administrative intrusion of Andhra Pradesh in the villages of Kotia panchayat, Odisha government took steps to ensure basic facilities like proper roads, electricity supply and provision of water supply. On the other hand, by rolling out several schemes like pension for senior citizens and providing free food supplements to children, the Andhra Pradesh government is leaving no stone unturned to sway the residents of Kotia.

“Andhra Pradesh government is providing many facilities including monthly pension of Rs 1000 as compared to Rs 300 by the Odisha government,” a Kotia resident, Luka Pangi said.

As per reports, the villagers of Kotia have voter cards of both the states. Polling booths for Odisha Assembly elections have been set up at a distance of 5 to 6 kms from the villages. While villagers allege that there are no proper roads connecting 21 villages, it is being apprehended that local voters may choose to cast their votes at polling booths set up by Andhra Pradesh.

Pottangi BDO, Karunakar Pradhan said, “People are very happy now because of the development works. We hope that they will cast their votes in Odisha.”

Earlier this year, the Andhra government had conducted a ‘Janmabhoomi’ program under which pension and food supplements were distributed to the locals in Kotia. Moreover, villagers were given food security cards by Andhra officials, who also launched Aadhaar enrolment process. Construction work of a check dam was started in Sembi area and a tender has also been floated by the neighbouring state for the construction of a 15-km road connecting Kotia to Tadiwalsa in Andhra Pradesh.

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