Disputed Kotia votes in good numbers in Odisha panchayat polls

Meanwhile, local leaders in Kotia villages alleged that Odisha officials forced the voters to exercise their franchise.

Published: 19th February 2022 04:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th February 2022 04:23 AM   |  A+A-

People of Doralatadivalasa, a village in Kotia panchayat, staging a dharna at a polling station to demand that their village be merged with AP I express

By Express News Service

VIZIANAGARAM: Despite the Andhra Pradesh government claiming that people in the disputed Kotia region are attracted to its welfare schemes, a good number of voters from the panchayat on the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB) turned up for local body elections in Odisha held on Friday.

Except for three, all disputed villages in the panchayat took part in the polling.  Doralatadivalasa, Jakarivalasa and Mulatadivalasa boycotted the election. People of Doralatadivalasa staged a dharna near polling stations and demanded that their village be merged with AP. 

On the direction of its State Election Commission, Odisha conducted polling for the local body elections in the Kotia region. It was conducted in 41 villages in the AOB,  including the 21 disputed villages. Officials there deployed a huge police force to ensure a peaceful polling.

Barricades were set up in six booths as well as at the entrance of the villages reportedly to prevent entry of Andhra officials and police. Odisha revenue officials served notices under section 107 on 12 people belonging to the disputed villages asking them not to create obstructions during the second phase of the panchayat polls.

Meanwhile, local leaders in Kotia villages alleged that Odisha officials forced the voters to exercise their franchise. “Not a single leader or elected representative from Andhra visited us. Though we were willing to boycott the polling, we did not get any moral support from Andhra leaders or officials. Therefore, we chose to vote under pressure,” said a few electors. 

As per preliminary reports, 76.3% of voters exercised their franchise in all the 41 villages in the region. It may be recalled that 17% of votes were polled in the disputed villages, in the Andhra Pradesh general election. It increased to 27% in the local body polls held last year.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp