Bhubaneswar, Mar 1 (IANS) The Odisha unit of the Congress party Friday urged the central government to accord a special category status to the state, saying it has been a "long-standing and justified demand".
"This is to convey the gratitude of the people of states like Odisha and Bihar for your decision to amend the criteria for special category status," state Congress president Niranjan Patnaik stated in a letter he sent to Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Friday.
Appreciating the annual budget for 2013-14 presented in parliament Thursday, Patnaik here said the measures taken by the finance minister would immensely benefit Odisha.
"I have advised our MLAs (members of legislative assembly) to bring a proposal in the state assembly to pass a resolution thanking you (Chidambaram) for this initiative," he said.
"I hope the central government will take the next logical step and Odisha will soon be declared a special category state. This has been a long-standing and justified demand of Odisha and we look forward to early fulfilment of this demand," Patnaik added.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is also president of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), has also been pressing for the special category status to Odisha for a long time now, citing the state as one of the poorest in the country.