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After Andhra announces polls, Odisha launches projects in Kotia

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik
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Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik

Highlights

Amidst the ongoing border dispute with neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday launched several developmental projects in the Kotia region of Koraput district.

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Bhubaneswar: Amidst the ongoing border dispute with neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday launched several developmental projects in the Kotia region of Koraput district.

The Chief Minister launched projects worth Rs 18 crore, in addition to the ongoing projects of Rs 150 crore for the development of 21 disputed villages in Kotia gram panchayat under Potangi block.

The move comes days after Andhra Pradesh announced panchayat elections in three villages of Kotia panchayat. The dates fixed by Andhra Pradesh for the elections are February 13 and 17.

In the notification for the polls, it has included Talaganjeipadar, Phatuseneri and Phagunaseneri villages under Salur block.

Addressing on the occasion via video conferencing, Patnaik announced that Kotia would be transformed into a model panchayat.

The Chief Minister said that he would very soon visit Kotia region and meet the people there.

"The state government has already implemented developmental activities in the sectors of education, health, communication, drinking water, and electricity. Steps will be taken to transform Kotia into a model panchayat," he added.

After Andhra Pradesh government announced to hold panchayat polls in Kotia, the Odisha government on Thursday shifted Koraput Collector Madhusudan Mishra and Mohammad Abdaal Akhtar has been appointed as new Koraput Collector.

Meanwhile, opposition Congress criticised the state government for failing to take concrete steps to resolve the dispute.

"Odisha-Andhra border issue in Kotia is a long-standing controversy and a mere transfer of collector won't work. If the Chief Minister cannot ensure the safety of the state, it proves that his leadership is weak," said senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra.

Taraprasad Bahinipati, Congress MLA from Koraput district, said locals of the region are also inclining towards the neighbouring state as Odisha government has done no concrete developmental works.

The Chief Minister should visit Kotia and review the situation, he said.

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