Maharashtra BJP's Dalit face Amar Sable set to get elected to RS

Mumbai: BJP today fielded Amar Sable, theparty's Dalit face in Maharashtra, as its candidate for the Rajya Sabha bypoll to be held on March 20, and he is set to get elected unopposed.

Sable, State BJP Scheduled Caste wing chief, was the lone candidate who filed his papers today, the last day of submitting nominations.

A formal announcement about his election will be made on Friday after 3 pm, a Vidhan Bhawan official said.

The seat fell vacant following the death of veteran Congress leader Murli Deora in November last.

"Sable is BJP's Dalit face and a good activist. The party has given him a chance (to represent Maharashtra in RS)," State BJP President Raosaheb Danve said.

"The decision (to field Sable) isn't surprising. BJP Parliamentary Board discussed four-five names and chose Sable," Danve said when asked about speculation that senior party leader Vinay Sahasrabuddhe was to be given ticket.

"BJP is an all-encompassing party. People of all sections have got representation in it. There is no resentment in any section of BJP over Sable's nomination. Our Parliamentary Board gives opportunity to candidates irrespective of their class or caste," the former Union Minister said.

Sable, who hails from Pimpri-Chinchwad industrial township in Pune, was said to be close to State BJP stalwart late Gopinath Munde.

Sable, who had filed his nomination from Pimpri for the October 15 Maharashtra Assembly polls last year, opted out of the contest after the seat was given to BJP ally Ramdas
Athawale-led Republican Party of India.

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