Andhra conducts polling in Odisha’s Kotia violating Supreme Court order

Villagers came out of their houses and exercised their franchise to vote violating the prohibitory orders under Section 144.

By   |  Published: 9th Apr 2021  10:59 am

Koraput: Andhra Pradesh Government on Thursday conducted elections in two villages under Kotia Gram Panchayat in Koraput district of Odisha despite the areas being declared as containment zones as few villagers were reported coronavirus positive.

Koraput Collector Mohammed Abdul Akhtar had declared the Phattusuneri and Neredibalasa villages of Kotia as Containment Zones and also imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC from April 7 to 10, but polling was held in the areas by the Andhra Pradesh government.

“Andhra Pradesh officials and police established booths in the villages and started the polling from 7 AM today. As many villagers did not turn up to cast their votes due to the prohibitory orders, the Andhra officials had a discussion with administrative officials of Odisha to allow them to visit the polling booths. However, no permission was granted,’ Akhtar said.

In response to this, the Andhra Pradesh police officer said, “As none can prevent a citizen of the country to exercise his or her franchise, the villagers were allowed to cast their votes at the polling booths while maintaining Covid-19 guidelines. We are monitoring the situation.”

Meanwhile, a clash erupted between the villagers and Odisha police officials.

Villagers came out of their houses and exercised their franchise to vote violating the prohibitory orders under Section 144. However, the Odisha police deployed there tried to stop them.

It is interesting to know that both Odisha and Andhra Pradesh have been conducting election in these villages. Villagers are having 2 voter cards, 2 ration cards, double pension etc from both the states. In every Gram Panchayat, there are 2 Sarpancha. One is elected by Andhra and another by Odisha violating the Constitution of India.

It is worthwhile to mention that the Odisha Government has filed a second contempt petition in the Supreme Court over the long-standing border dispute with Andhra Pradesh as the neighbouring State is again conducting elections in the villages under Kotia GP in Koraput District of Odisha.


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