Vowing to safeguard the interest of Orissa, newly elected BJD MPs on Saturday announced to demand special category status for the state.
"We will reiterrate Orissa's demand for a special category state staus. This time our voice will be louder and stronger," BJD's parliamentary party leader in Lok Sabha Arjun Charan Sethi told reporters.
Qouting the party supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik that successive central government's have neglected the state for decades, Sethi said Orissa fulfilled all criteria required for being accorded special category staus.
Besides, Sethi pointed out that the state was losing hundreds of crores of rupees towards coal royalty as the Centre delayed revising the price.
As the BJD MPs number had increased to 14 this time, Sethi said their voice would be stronger than ever before. He said raising 'just' issues of the state in Parliament, was their priority.
Holding the Congress led UPA government responsible for delay in establishment of a branch of AIIMS in Bhubaneswar, the BJD MPs said they would raise the issue in Parliament.