BJP fielded party’s state scheduled caste wing chief from Pune, Amar Sable as its candidate for the Rajya Sabha bypoll to be held on March 20.
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,” state BJP unit president Raosaheb Danve said.
“This is not a surprise decision. BJP parliamentary board has discussed four-five names and chosen Sable before taking a final decision,” Danve said when asked about the speculation that senior party leader Vinay Sahasrabuddhe could be the choice.
“BJP is an all-encompassing party. People of all sections have got representation,” he said.
“There is no resentment in any section of the party over Sable’s nomination. Our parliamentary board gives opportunity to candidates irrespective of their class or caste,” he said.
Sable, who hails from Pimpri-Chinchwad in Pune, is said to be close to late Gopinath Munde. With the BJP holding a majority in the Upper House of the state Legislature, Sable is expected to be elected unopposed.
Sable, who had filed his nomination from the Pimpri seat during the October 15 Maharashtra polls, opted out of the contest after the seat was given to ally Ramdas Athawale-led Republican Party of India (A).