The election commission announced on Tuesday that biennial elections to fill six vacancies in Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu will be held on 18th July.

There have been speculations doing rounds whether DMK will accept Congress' request for backing former PM Manmohan Singh's candidature from one of the six vacancies. Singh's 18-year-long tenure in the Rajya Sabha ended this month with Congress, not in a position to get him re-elected from Assam. The Congress hasn’t commented issue yet officially, though according to reports, the party has contacted its ally DMK regarding the matter, according to FirstPost.

The elections are being held to in order to fill vacancies that have arisen due to the retirement of five members and the election of Kanimozhi to Lok Sabha in the recent election.

The members who are retiring on 27th July are T Rathinavel, V Maitreyan, KB Arjunan, R Lakshmanan (AIADMK) and D Raja (CPI).

According to the schedule announced that was announced by the Commission, notification for the elections are going to be issued on 1st July and the last date for filing nominations will be on 8th July. Scrutiny of nominations will be done the next day. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is on 11th July.

The counting of votes will be done in July after the conclusion of the election.

The press release said that 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.

It added that adequate measures for close monitoring of the election process by appointing observers shall be taken to ensure a free and fair election.