Odisha villagers give officials a slip, vote in Andhra Pradesh polls
Villagers from Odisha who possess voter identity cards of both the states clandestinely exercised their franchise.
BERHAMPUR: Heightened vigilance by Odisha administration notwithstanding, people from bordering districts of Odisha exercised their voting rights in the panchayat polls conducted by Andhra Pradesh on Saturday. Villagers from Odisha who possess voter identity cards of both the states clandestinely exercised their franchise.
To prevent them from voting in the panchayat polls, the district administration of Ganjam had taken a slew of measures and organised programmes like ‘Mo Nibedana’, ‘Mo Gaon Tehsil’ and health camps in five villages.
Though the administration claimed no villager from Odisha participated in the polls, sources said some residents of Kuladi and Satapuri villages of Patrapur block cast their votes at Talaguruthi booth in Andhra Pradesh.
A few residents of Gudikhudi village voted at Budarsing in the neighbouring State. Similarly, residents of S Balarampur voted at Tulasigaon, those from Saradhapur exercised their franchise at Dhaputi in Andhra Pradesh. Restraining villagers proved tough as was evident in Balarampur, home to around 350 families, where all possess voter ID cards issued by both the states.
The situation was similar in T Brahmapur village.
Patrapur tehsildar Amit Kumar Nayak and BDO Prakash Kumar Das along with police personnel had camped in the villages but the villagers, wary of losing benefits offered by the neighbouring State, managed to give them a slip.
In Gajapati district, a few journalists were heckled by personnel of Andhra Pradesh police. Sources said the police snatched the cameras and mobile phones of the scribes from Odisha before deleting the videos recording the voting process.
The district administration had earlier swung into action and dissuaded the lone candidate of Gangabada panchayat from participating in the panchayat elections of the neighboring State.