Bharatiya Bikash Parishad PIL In Orissa HC Over Kotia Border Issue

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Cuttack: The Bharatiya Bikash Parishad on Wednesday filed a PIL in Orissa High Court seeking direction to the State government to take appropriate measures to safeguard its border with Andhra Pradesh and stop the panchayat elections being conducted by the neighbouring State in the disputed region of Kotia in Koraput district.

In the petition, president of the Bharatiya Bikash Parishad Surendra Panigrahi stated that the Andhra Government is preparing to conduct panchayat elections in 58 villages in three districts of Ganjam, Koraput and Gajapati on Odisha side.

Panigrahi stated that residents of the 58 villages on Andhra border have not been provided benefits under different schemes of Odisha Government. Taking advantage of this, the neighbouring state issued voter I-cards and is also planning to hold elections, he added.

The parishad has prayed to the Orissa HC to issue directions to ensure that elections scheduled on February 13 and 17 are not conducted.

The petitioner has made the Home and Revenue Secretaries along with three Collectors parties in the case.

The move comes a day after the Odisha government asked the Advocate on Record (AOR)-Sibo Sankar Mishra to file a writ a petition in the Supreme Court against Andhra Pradesh’s announcement for panchayat polls at three villages of Kotia.

Odisha Law Department, in a letter to Mishra, stated “You (Mishra) are engaged to file Writ Petition before the Supreme Court challenging the notification of State Election Commission, Andhra Pradesh to hold panchayat election in three villages of Kotia which are within the territory of Odisha.”

Mishra is the AOR Supreme Court lawyer empanelled by the government of Odisha to appear for in cases before the Apex court.

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