Congress president Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel and CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury were declared re-elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat and West Bengal respectively in the biennial election as the last date for withdrawal of candidature ended on July 15.

Similarly, TV artiste Smriti Irani and Dileep Pandey (both of the BJP) have been elected to the Upper House from Gujarat.

Derek O' Brien elected

In West Bengal, Trinamool leaders Debabrata Bandhopadhyay, Derek O' Brien (noted quizmaster), Sukhendu Shekhar Roy and Srinjoy Bose and Congress leader Pradip Bhattacharya have been elected.

In Tamil Nadu, Jaya TV anchor A. William Rabi Bernard was elected on the AIADMK ticket.

The Election Commission announced biennial election for one seat in Goa, three seats in Gujarat and six seats in West Bengal and by-election for one seat each in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Of the total 12 seats, candidates have already been elected unopposed for 10 seats and now the poll will be held only in Goa and Maharashtra as there are more than one candidate in the fray.

The poll is scheduled for July 22 and it will be held between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The counting of votes will take place the same day at 5 p.m.

While the biennial election is caused by the retirement of sitting Rajya Sabha members, in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra the by-election is caused by the resignation of sitting members K.V. Ramalingam (who became a Minister in Tamil Nadu) and Prithviraj Chavan (who became the Maharashtra Chief Minister).

In Goa, the Congress has renominated its sitting member Shantaram Laxman Naik and the BJP has fielded Danu Naik for the poll. In Maharashtra, the fight will be between Hussain Dalwai (Congress) and Bal Mane (BJP).

The chances of Congress candidates getting elected in both the States seem to be bright going by the party's strength in the Assembly.

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