Paralakhemundi: After Kotia in Koraput district, Andhra Pradesh government is trying to bring several more villages from Gangabada area in Gajapati district under its administrative limits, locals here said.
Panchayat elections are scheduled to be held in Sabakota panchayat of Mandusa Mandalam in Srikakulam district February 13. The residents of Manikapatna, Madiakhol, Burusingh, Amaringi and Gudukhudi villages under Gangabada panchayat are receiving various facilities such as land documents, voter identity cards, aadhar cards, ration cards, pension and electricity connection from Andhra Pradesh government.
For the first time, a resident of Gangabada panchayat has also been given a ticket to fight panchayat elections to be held on the other side of the border. Laxmi Sabar has been fielded as a ward member candidate, it was learnt.
Worse, some residents of Odisha side are learnt to have decided to cast their votes in the upcoming elections. While some people wish to be with Andhra Pradesh, some others say they will be loyal to Odisha as they live in Odisha.
The voter identity cards, that the villagers have received from Andhra Pradesh government, shows the above-mentioned villages as coming under Mandusa Mandalam in Srikakulam district.
Similarly, there are five families in Burusingh village that have received voter identity cards from both Odisha and Andhra Pradesh governments. They are also receiving several benefits from both sides. These families say they will cast votes in the coming panchayat elections as they are under political and administrative pressure for having bought farmlands in Andhra Pradesh side.
The residents of Gudukhudi village have also made their stand clear and said they will exercise their voting rights. “Andhra Pradesh government is providing all types of services and benefits besides collecting revenues. On the other hand, the Gajapati district administration has not supplied rations for the last five months. So what is wrong in participating in elections in Andhra Pradesh,” an elderly man asked.
Notably, the Gajapati district administration has swung into action and taking steps to foil Andhra Pradesh’s designs. A team of administrative officials visited the villages Saturday. The residents in these villages have urged Odisha government to take steps as it has done in case of Kotia to win the hearts of disillusioned villagers.