Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave his tributes to TN Seshan after the former Chief Election Commissioner passed away on Sunday evening on November 10. Modi mentioned how Seshan served the country with utmost diligence and how he made the country's democracy stronger.
Modi, in a tweet, said, "Shri TN Seshan was an outstanding civil servant. He served India with utmost diligence and integrity. His efforts towards electoral reforms have made our democracy stronger and more participative. Pained by his demise. Om Shanti."
Sheshan passed away due to a cardiac arrest and was 86 years old. He was known as someone who ruthlessly enforced the Model Code of Conduct and led the game-changing electoral reforms in the 1990s. Known for his "no-nonsense" attitude, Seshan was credited with ushering in major electoral reforms during his tenure as the 10th CEC between December 12, 1990, and December 11, 1996. Seshan, it was said, used to own a big stick while enforcing the model code of conduct to reign in muscle and money power during elections. He was born in Thirunellai, Palakkad district, Kerala.
A 1955-batch IAS officer, though he had held various key posts in the government including that of the defence secretary and the coveted position of Cabinet secretary, Seshan became a household name only after he took over as the chief election commissioner. A no-nonsense attitude was his hallmark, and he ensured checks and balances at all levels to see that the entire election process right from the scrutiny of nominations to the conduct of polls were carried out according to the rule book.
From deploying election observers for fair play to fixing election schedules in a staggered fashion to help station security forces and rule out then-infamous "booth capturing," especially in states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Seshan led a slew of initiatives some of which invited the wrath of political parties. He was bold enough to cancel elections in Punjab in 1991 to see that the poll process was not vitiated by violence.