New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Odisha unit on Friday said that it wants Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contest from the Puri constituency in the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections. BJP state unit President Basant Panda said the party will forward its proposal to the national leader in this regard. Also Read - Poll Dates Announced For 5 Assemblies, Mamata Questions EC | All Major Election Developments in 10 Points

“We want the Prime Minister to contest the 2019 elections from Puri. However, the final decision will be taken by the BJP Parliamentary Board,” said Panda. Also Read - Good From Perspective of Game: Kapil Dev on Renaming Motera Stadium After Prime Minister Narendra Modi

He said that the BJP leaders hope that the party’s prospects will improve significantly in Odisha if Modi contests from the coastal belt, a stronghold of ruling Biju Janata Dal. Also Read - Day After Mamata Banerjee's Pillion Ride, Smriti Irani Drives A Scooter | See Pictures

He claimed that the party will bag more than 120 of the 147 Assembly seats. Odisha will witness both Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in 2019.

Though the BJP did not fare well in the 2014 Lok Sabha election in Puri, the party’s state leadership believe that Modi’s candidature will change the political situation in the state’s coastal belt, considered the stronghold of the ruling BJD headed by Naveen Patnaik.

In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, BJP nominee Ashok Sahu finished third by securing 20.76 per cent votes against Pinaki Mishra of the BJD who bagged 50.33 per cent votes.

Mishra won the seat while Congress candidate Suchamita Mohanty was in the second place. Of the seven assembly segments under Puri Lok Sabha constituency, only one seat (Chilika) is with the BJP while BJD candidates won in the remaining six seats — Balipatna, Pipili, Satyabadi, Puri, Brahmagiri and Ranpur.

(With agency inputs)