Bhubaneswar (SunstarTV Bureau): On Friday the Apex Court asked Odisha Government to respond within four weeks time on an affidavit filed by the Andhra Pradesh Government claiming that the later has been holding elections in village in Koraput’s Kotia since long.
Earlier, on February 18 the Andhra Pradesh government had filed the affidavit claiming that it has been holding elections in the area since 1952.
The affidavit was in response to a direction by the Apex Court while hearing a contempt petition filed by the Odisha government alleging that the southern neighbour had violated status quo by grabbing villages in the bordering areas in Kotia and taking unilateral decision in holding elections recently.
Senior counsel Shibshankar Mishra who is representing the Odisha government in the Supreme Court said that the Court’s direction comes as a big respite for the State.
He said Andhra is falsely claiming its right over the area. “They have submitted only four photographs in support of their claim. But we have all the documents in our favor since 1936. We have also albums full with photographs to substantiate our claim on the area,” he added.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Balabhadra Majhi said that the Parliament is the proper forum where the State government should raise the issue with documentary evidence.
Kotia dispute is a long pending border issue between Andhra Pradhesh and Odisha. Both states have been claiming their sovereign rights over the area, which consists of 27 small tribal hamlets on the border.