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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Jeypore: An ugly scene unfolded in Kotia when officials from Odisha on Covid enforcement duty were confronted by authorities from Andhra Pradesh who forced their way to persuade people in the disputed villages to participate in the proposed samiti members and zilla parishad elections, on Thursday.

The unruly behaviour of the AP officials did not go down well with the State officials who were greeted with heated squabbling by the former on being asked to vacate the place keeping in mind the pandemic surge in the district.

A video of the high drama which was captured in mobile phones by some villagers has gone viral on social networking sites.

According to reports, as soon as the polling started, Andhra Pradesh officials started to enter Dhuliapadar village and tried to persuade the villagers to participate in the voting. But they were stopped by the Odisha officials. A heated exchange of words ensued between the officials of both the states which lasted for about an hour.

Odisha officials informed their Andhra Pradesh counterparts that since the area has been declared a containment zone, they should obey Covid-19 guidelines and stay off.

But the Andhra Pradesh officials did not agree and tried to force their way into the village with the help of police. However, only a few officials could manage to enter following a tussle between both the parties.

Meanwhile, the Koraput district administration claimed that only 17 per cent polling was reported from Kotia villages. A few persons of Neredivalasa cast their votes while others in Kotia refrained from polling.

It is worth mentioning that the Koraput district administration on Wednesday had clamped section 144 in Kotia and declared Neridivalasa and Dhulipadar as containment zones after four positive cases were reported in the area.

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