Vijayawada: The inter-State border dispute between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha over Kotia Panchayat has once again reached the Supreme Court.
Odisha government has sought contempt of court proceedings against AP for violation of status quo agreed upon by the two states more than five decades ago.
The plea comes in the light of the upcoming Panchayat polls in Andhra Pradesh with the State Election Commission proposing to hold the polls in three contested villages on February 13 and 17.
It may be recalled that both Andhra Pradesh and Odisha have been at loggerhead over the jurisdiction pertaining to Kotia gram Panchayat, which comprises 28 villages for the past few decades. AP government has been claiming that the villages come under Vizianagaram district limits, while the Odisha government has been claiming that it comes under Koraput district.
Andhra Pradesh is scheduled to hold Panchayat election in three villages — Talaganjeipadar, Patusineri, and Phagunseneri in Kotia gram panchayat — by changing their names to Ganjeibadara, Pattuchennuru and Pagluchennuru on February 13. Nominations have been filed for the post of sarpanch and ward members in the three villages.
In the petition, the Odisha government has mentioned that the Supreme Court had, in 1968, ordered maintenance of status quo in the disputed area. In its final hearing in 2006, the top court had recorded the status quo undertaking given by both States while disposing of the suit.
The present plea filed through Sibo Sankar Mishra states that the move to hold elections in the contested area will amount to contempt of the court as it violates the status quo undertaking given to the Court.
The plea states that villages have been under the control of the local administration of Odisha and that the state government has undertaken several infrastructural initiatives in those villages including building road, bridges, schools, etc.
The matter was mentioned on Thursday by Senior Counsel Vikas Singh on behalf of Odisha, seeking urgent listing. The Court agreed to the same and said that the matter will be listed for hearing on Friday.
On the other side, Vizianagaram district authorities said that they will go ahead with the elections.