New Delhi: Biennial elections to fill six vacancies in Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu will be held on July 18, the Election Commission announced on Tuesday.
There is speculation whether DMK would yield to Congress' request for backing former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's candidature from one of the six candidates. Singh's 18-year-long tenure in the Upper House came to an end this month with Congress, not in a position to get him reelected from Assam.
The Congress has not said anything official on the issue though media has reported that the party has contacted its ally DMK in this regard.
The elections are being held to fill the vacancies arising out of retirement of five members and the election of Kanimozhi to Lok Sabha in the recent election.
Under the schedule announced by the Commission, notification for the elections will be issued on July 1 and the last date for the purpose will be July 8. Scrutiny of nominations will be done the next day. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is on July 11.
Counting of votes will be done in July after the conclusion of the election.
The members who are retiring on July 27 are T Rathinavel, V Maitreyan, K. B. Arjunan, R Lakshmanan (AIADMK) and D Raja (CPI).
The press release said the Commission has directed that for the purpose of marking preference on the ballot paper only integrated violet colour sketch pen of pre-fixed specification, provided by the Returning Officer, shall be used.
No other pen shall, under any circumstances, be used in the election, it said.
Adequate measures for close monitoring of the election process by appointing observers shall be taken to ensure a free and fair election, it added.
In accordance with the strength of parties, especially the ruling AIADMK and main Opposition DMK, the two parties can get elected three of their candidates in the elections.