Have both the leaders resolved to maintain the status quo in Kotia as ruled by the Supreme Court in the 1960s? Has the AP CM committed during the meeting not to enter Gangabad panchayat in Gajapati district to perpetrate its administration and wait till the institutional mechanism comes up and find solutions?
These are the questions being raised in political circles. However, the opposition is skeptical about the outcome of the meeting. The leading oppositions in Odisha – the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress – have dubbed the CM-level talk as a futile exercise.
The Opposition has some credence to its criticism. On the day both the CMs were holding talks in Bhubaneswar, Andhra Pradesh government’s officials were present in Kotia and carried out some administrative tasks. In recent times, the AP officials were seen present in six villages under Gangabad gram panchayat to implement their state’s welfare measures.
Several items, including Neradi barrage over Vamsadhara river, Jhanjavathi reservoir and the dispute over authority of the two states on Kotia cluster of villages were on the agenda for discussion. From AP government’s sources, it was initially known that the meeting would last for 2 hours. However, it continued for 40 minutes after which both the CMs issued a joint statement declaring that an institutional mechanism would be constituted to address the contentious issues.
The Opposition in Odisha does not believe the institutional mechanism would serve any purpose unless the CM asserts himself on the issues. The institutional mechanism will comprise Chief Secretaries of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh and senior officials of both the states. Can the officers reach a consensus to stop clashes in Kotia and quarrel over the bordering villages?
The Opposition leaders said the Odisha CM should have discussed in threadbare each issue and extracted some concrete commitments from Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Now, one has to wait to see the actual effects of the meet on the ground to make further analysis on the outcome of the high-level talks.