Taking the lead, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has called for an amicable resolution to the ‘unfortunate faceoff’ between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha in bordering villages of Koraput and Gajapati districts by way of talks between the
The Chief Ministers of both the states and setting up of an officer level joint working group.
In a letter to Andhra Pradesh CM, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Union Minister said the skirmishes which started in 20 odd villages in Kotia panchayat of Koraput district have spread to other border villages in Gajapati district.
Such disputes pose a threat both to the security as well as developmental aspirations of villagers located in border villages in the states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, he noted.
Indeed, it is a matter of great satisfaction that the administration, police forces, and political leadership of both the states have joined hands to curb the Left-Wing Extremism and the combined efforts have ensured the return of peace in these villages.
The present volatile situation arising out of inter-state conflicts on the issue of delimitation of physical boundaries is extremely unfortunate and uncalled for.
They have the potential to derail on-going developmental initiatives and nullify the peace dividends which have accrued over the years in these areas, said Pradhan.
Settling boundary issues require intense parleys coupled with the involvement of a mature political leadership at the highest levels, he observed.
Pradhan suggested retreat of armed police forces in the disputed villages and immediate withdrawal “of cases registered against local representatives and government officials registered with police in both the states; suspend all construction activities, bilateral discussions between CMs and a joint working group at the chief secretary level.
Pradhan has also offered to facilitate talks and peaceful resolution of the dispute.
It is pertinent to note that at their level, both the CMs have not taken any initiative for talks. Significantly; Pradhan has preferred to write to the AP CM in this regard.
Recently, there was an ugly situation in Gajapati district when a Minister of AP forcibly opened an anganwadi centre which had been closed by the district authorities in one of the bordering villages
The AP Minister is said to have dared the local administration to prevent him from doing so.
There was a hue and cry over the issue which was figured during the monsoon session of the Odisha Assembly. Strangely, CM Naveen Patnaik as well as the administration has not reacted to the highly sensitive issue.