The chief minister’s announcement came after many heavyweights of his party from western regions and people from various walks met him at his residence and urged to fight from any of the constituencies in their regions.
“The leaders of western Odisha—the farmers, the women and the students—have requested that I stand from western Odisha. I am considering it very seriously,” Naveen told reporters after the meeting.
Though the BJD president did not name any constituency in western regions from where he will fight the assembly poll; sources said he may choose Bijepur under Bargarh Lok Sabha segment or Rairakhol assembly segment under Sambalpur Lok Sabha.
By roping in Naveen from western Odisha; BJD eyes a huge gain from the region which has five Lok Sabha seats and 37 assembly constituencies.
The chief minister did not clarify whether he would contest again from Hinjili; from where he has been winning since 2000. Naveen had elected for the fourth time in 2014 with a record margin of 76,586 votes.
“The chief minister has given special emphasis for development of western regions especially during the last five years. So, leaders from our regions and people from different walks like farmers, poets, students and youths made an emotional request to Naveen Babu to fight from western Odisha,” said veteran leader from the region and Rajya Sabha member Prasanna Acharya.
Asked whether they have asked for any constituency; Acharya said they have left it to the BJD president though every leader wants that he should fight from his/her district.
Both Aska and Bargarh Lok Sabha segments and the assembly constituencies under it would go to polls in the second phase on April 18.