Kotia border dispute comes up in Odisha assembly


Bhubaneswar: The monsoon session at Odisha Assembly started on a peaceful tone where the question-and-answer session of the Legislature continued. New ministers are answering questions from legislators.

The issue of border security has been raised in the Assembly today. Speaking on the issue of Kotia village in Koraput district, opposition leader Vishnu Sethi said language, literature and culture were not safe at the border. “The Andhra Pradesh government is trying to seduce the people of the border with various schemes.”

Assembly member Bishu Sethi also questioned why concerned ministers are not visiting the disputed area that lies on the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border.

“What do we understand from this, that the question posed by BJD MLA Soumya Patnaik and what Patangi MLA Pritam Padhi are saying is true or that the answer given by Minister Pramila Malik is true?” said Bishnu.

He also questioned BJD MLA Amar Prasad Satpathy regarding the current status of Kotia along with the credibility if the information of whether the financial aide provided by Andhra government to the villagers of Kotia.

“Everyone in the House is worried about this,” he said.

However, the matter only remained on papers as discussions were not held on the issue, hence, he urged for answers from BJD MLA Amar Prasad Satpathy.

State Revenue Minister Pramila Mallick was replying to a query raised by BJD MLA Soumya Ranjan Patnaik during the question & answer session in the State Assembly on Friday.

In his question, the senior BJD leader had sought an explanation as to what extent does the Odisha government know about its AP counterpart’s intensified efforts to win Kotia residents’ confidence by implementing schemes similar to that of Odisha government.

Accusing the AP government of distributing forest land deeds and voter identity cards to Kotia residents unlawfully, Patnaik wanted to know about steps being taken by Odisha government to stop AP administration’s intervention in such issues. Also, he wanted to know the steps being taken to refrain the AP government from intervening in other border areas of Odisha.

Replying to the MLA’s query, the Minister said “The state government is not aware of this issue. If the government comes to know about it, positive action will be taken against the AP government.”

It was learnt that the AP government keeps wooing Kotia residents by distributing forest land deeds and voter identity cards. Apart from holding health camps, the AP government is also reportedly providing ration cards, birth and death certificates, different allowances and land deeds to Kotia people.


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