The Odisha assembly Thursday unanimously passed a resolution seeking Special Category Status for the state.
The resolution, moved by chief minister Naveen Patnaik, was passed at about 9pm following a six hours discussion.
"The demand of Odisha for Special Category Status is very old and fully justified," Patnaik said.
Congress chief whip in assembly Prasad Harichandan said: "We fully support the move for special status for Odisha. But the ruling Biju Janata Dal should take the issue seriously and not use it as an election gimmick."
Odisha had raised the demand for special status as far back as 1979 in National Development Council and continued in the 1990s when both Tenth and Eleventh Odisha Legislative Assemblies had adopted unanimous resolutions urging upon the central government to declare Odisha as a Special Category state.
The chief minister said that at present an impression had been created that the Centre had been considering modifying the criteria for according Special Category Status to certain states, although in all sectors Odisha had unfavourable indicators compared to those states.
"If the Centre is keen on revisiting the criteria for Special Category Status, why it is not doing so immediately?" he said.