“We have two governors, two chief ministers, two state administrations. But, here roads are dotted with potholes, regular supply of drinking water still a dream and many houses still to get power connections. We are caught in the middle, hence no development,” Boyar Pundalikrao, a resident of Maharajguda village in Keramari mandal of Andhra Pradesh lamented. Wait, the village in Maharashtra.
Confused!! The verbatim of the villager can leave anyone in deep confusion. But, the reality is the villagers themselves have been living in the same confusion for years that to which state they belong to-- Andhra Pradesh or Maharashtra.
Along with Maharajguda, another 11 villages along the AP-Maharastra border are the victims of the border dispute. Both the state governments claim allegiance over those villages, which has left them in a precarious situation. Interestingly, every villagers has two voter ID cards, two ration cards issued by the Andhra Pradesh and Maaharashtra governments. Last year, these villages voted in the Maharashtra Zilla Parishad elections and now they will exercise their franchise in the upcoming Panchayat elections in Andhra Pradesh. The villages in question fall under the Parandoli and Anthapur panchayats comprising six villages each. They are governed by two Sarpanches, two MPs, two MLAs, two chief ministers and come under Jiviti mandal in Rajura constituency in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra and Keramari mandal in Asifabad constituency in Adilabad district of AP simultaneously.
The residents allege that there has been no development in their villages as both the governments, though claim the villages belong to their respective states, point fingers to each other when question of grant of funds for development comes.
The AP government believes that funds are released by Maharashtra government and vice versa. And results-- development takes a backseat. The villagers believe that if the villages are merged into either of the states, the development will speed up.
Even, the number of voters is under dispute. While the AP government claims the number of voters to be 1,100, the Maharashtra government puts the figure at 900. In 1999, the AP HC declared that these villages are under the jurisdiction of AP but the Maharashtra government filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Court’s order.