Odisha rural polls: BJD, Congress, BJP to go for consensus candidates in area bordering Andhra Pradesh

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Bhubaneswar: In the upcoming panchayat polls in the contentious Kotia area of Odisha, three major political parties Congress, BJD and the BJP on Thursday decided to select consensus candidates in the border region.

The parties decided to select consensus candidates for sarpanch, samity member, and ward member posts instead of going for elections in Kotia gram panchayat in Koraput district where Andhra Pradesh held panchayat elections last year, reported PTI.

The Andhra govt had held rural elections in villages in the Kotia gram panchayat area in February last year despite the Odisha’s objection citing a Supreme Court directive to maintain status quo in the disputed area.

The meeting was attended by Koraput district president of BJD Ishwar Panigrahi, BJP leader Jairam Pangi and Minakshi Bahinipati of Congress.

The meeting also resolved that selection of consensus candidates will be an effective way to counter the attempts of Andhra Pradesh to interfere in the affairs of Kotia panchayat.

There are more than 5,000 eligible voters in 13 wards of 28 revenue villages and 12 other villages in Kotia panchayat which will go to the polls on February 18.

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