Six candidates from Tamil Nadu were on Thursday elected unopposed in the biennial elections to Rajya Sabha, PTI reported. This includes Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam General Secretary Vaiko and Pattali Makkal Katchi’s Anbumani Ramadoss.

The other four candidates who were elected unopposed are – General Secretary of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s Labour Progressive Front M Shanmugam, senior advocate P Wilson, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s former minister A Mohammedjan and the party’s Mettur secretary N Chandrasekaran.

Returning Officer and Secretary of Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Secretariat, K Srinivasan announced that all these candidates were elected unopposed. He handed over the certificate of election to all the candidates.

If more than six candidates had contested the polls, the election would have taken place on July 18.

There were seven valid nominations to fill six vacancies in Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu. The DMK had fielded NR Elango as a “precautionary measure” in case Vaiko’s nomination was rejected.

There was speculation about his nomination since he was convicted of sedition and sentenced to a one-year prison term last week. However, Vaiko was not barred from contesting the Rajya Sabha election as sedition is not among the offences under the Representation of People Act that would lead to disqualification of a candidate.

Chief Minister K Palaniswami congratulated Ramadoss and AIADMK’s Mohammedjan and Chandrasekaran on their successful election. The AIADMK and Pattali Makkal Katchi had decided this arrangement in March when they formed an alliance before the Lok Sabha elections.

Vaiko and DMK’s two other candidates called on party chief MK Stalin. DMK also had a pre-poll alliance under which MDMK was given a Lok Sabha seat and a nomination for the Rajya Sabha.

These six candidates will replace AIADMK MPs T Rathinavel, V Maitreyan, KR Arjunan and R Lakshmanan and D Raja of the Communist Party of India, whose six-year terms in the Rajya Sabha end on July 24. A sixth seat had fallen vacant after Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Kanimozhi got elected to the Lok Sabha in May.