Odisha CM Should Soon Intervene & Solve Kotia Dispute With Andhra: BJP

**Bhubaneswar: ** In the wake of the alleged intrusion by neighbouring Andhra Pradesh into the border villages of southern Odisha recently by distributing blankets and other government sops to woo the native tribals there, Opposition BJP on Saturday came down heavily on the Odisha Government alleging its inaction and demanded immediate resolution of the nagging border dispute.

Convening a press meet at the BJP State party office here, Odisha’s former Revenue Minister and senior saffron party leader Biswa Bhusan Harichandan said, “In Kotia’s legal dispute, maintaining of status quo is sought. If it is maintained, the condition should be as it is. But, the Odisha Government and its Chief Minister is lying callous and apathetic. Yet there is time, the Chief Minister should hold discussion with the Central Government. If warranted, he must also hold discussion with his Andhra counterpart. The dispute ought to be resolved soon.”

The senior BJP leader also demanded that the Chief Minister must visit soon Kotia Panchayat in tribal-dominated Koraput district for taking stock of the situation.

“Kotia is not a single case. There are 95 more villages in Odisha having respective border disputes. As Kotia is being intruded repeatedly, its solution should be made immediately,” Harichandan stressed.

Ruling BJD vice-president and Food & Civil Supplies Minister Surya Narayan Patro was also the former Revenue Minister of Odisha.

Hence in his reactions to Harichandan’s remarks, Patro said, “Kotia has a cluster of 28 villages. Out of it 7 villages are in Odisha while dispute is on 21 villages. Hon’ble Supreme Court’s verdict is in favour of Andhra following which Odisha Government also filed another petition pertaining to it before the full bench of Supreme Court. There also we have lost.”

“Now we’re discussing legally what further course of action could be taken. Revenue Minister has also constituted a committee to deal with it. Legal opinion is being sought now whether to take the Kotia dispute to the Joint Parliamentary Board’s court or any other appropriate forum,” Patro informed.