LS polls: How 6770 electors of disputed territory will vote in Maharashtra and Telangana

6770 electors in disputed territory to vote in both states Maharashtra and Telangana

By S. Harpal Singh  Published on  16 April 2024 5:30 AM GMT
LS polls: How 6770 electors of disputed territory will vote in Maharashtra and Telangana

Adilabad: Nearly 4,000 Telangana voters will exercise the right to franchise in Chandrapur Parliamentary Constituency in Maharashtra when it goes to poll on April 19 during the first phase of elections.

Likewise, some 2,770 electors from that side of the interstate border will vote to elect a candidate in Adilabad (ST) PC in Telangana where polling is slated to be held on May 13 during the fourth phase of elections.

This curious situation had arisen out of a boundary dispute between the two neighboring States involving a dozen villages lying in an 80 sq km territory located on the border between Kerameri Mandal in Telangana and Jivti taluka in Maharashtra.

"No revenue survey of these had taken place when the states were being created on linguistic basis," opined a Revenue department official in Telangana as he proffered a reason for the paradox.

The strange issue came to light in 1989 when election officials in Andhra Pradesh, of which the present-day Telangana was a part, tried to set up polling stations in the disputed territory. Maharashtra objected to AP claiming the territory to be its part and began administering it simultaneously.

As a result, all eligible voters got themselves registered in the Rajura Assembly constituency in Maharashtra and the Asifabad (ST) Assembly constituency in the erstwhile united Adilabad district. Individuals constituting the small population (7325 at present) also held two ration cards, and two MGNREGS job cards besides accessing Marathi and Telugu medium primary education.

The dozen villages in question form part of Parandoli and Anthapur gram panchayats. Both the GPs elect sarpanches representing the Maharashtra and Telangana governments.

"We have two EPIC cards and will cast votes in both Chandrapur and Adilabad PCs," asserted Parameshwar Suryavanshi, former Anthapur sarpanch from Telangana side. "If we are lucky in electing our candidates on either side we will get double the attention in terms of development," he added giving out his reason for taking advantage of an unusual 'privilege'.

The Election Commission had earlier clarified that each voter is allowed to vote only in one constituency of his choice. "But, if the indelible ink gets wiped off the finger during the 25-day gap between Chandrapur and Adilabad polling, we cannot stop the voter from exercising his franchise here too," stated a top official in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district election machinery.

At present Maharashtra government makes its presence felt in only Parandoli, Kota, Anthapur, Jankapur, Isapur, Bolapathar, and Gowri villages. The remaining villages, Karanjiwada, Anarpalli, Paraswada, Lakmapur, and the deserted Arepalli are entirely administered by Telangana.

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