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Contentious Kotia witnesses robust voter turnout of 76.53 pc in Odisha polls

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NewsDrum Desk
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Koraput (Odisha), May 14 (PTI) The disputed Kotia panchayat area, which both Odisha and Andhra Pradesh claim to be part of their territory, witnessed a robust voter turnout of 76.53 per cent in the simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha elections in the eastern state on Monday.

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The turnout was better than that of 2019, when 74.77 per cent of the voters had exercised their franchise.

In this election, 4,217 of 5,502 registered voters in Kotia exercised their franchise at nine designated polling stations, officials said, adding a total of 2,172 of 2,913 woman electors cast their votes.

"People of Kotia participated in the general elections very enthusiastically and exercised their franchise without any pressure or fear," state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Nikunja Bihari Dhal said.

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Twenty one of 28 villages in Kotia gram panchayat, which falls under Pottangi assembly segment of Koraput Lok Sabha seat, have been the focal point of the dispute between the two states.

Koraput District Election Officer cum Collector Keerthi Vasan V said that comprehensive security arrangements were made for the polls.

"Adequate security arrangements were made in Kotia for voting and no untoward incident was reported during the poll process," the collector said.

Talakanti polling station recorded the highest turnout at 89.51 per cent, followed by 89.47 per cent at Gumel Padar.

The dispute over the ownership of these villages dates back to 1968 when the case first reached the Supreme Court. However, the apex court in 2006 ruled that inter-state boundaries fell outside its jurisdiction, leaving the matter to be resolved by Parliament and imposing a permanent injunction in the disputed area. PTI COR AAM AAM ACD

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