Former Chief Election Commissioner TN Seshan Passes Away

Chennai : Former Chief Election Commissioner TN Seshan passed away due to cardiac arrest here  last night. He was 86.

A 1955 batch IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre, Seshan had led the Election Commission from 1990 to 1996. He held various key posts in the government including that of Defence Secretary and Cabinet Secretary.

Seshan gained popularity only after he took over as the Chief Election Commissioner in 1990. Known for his no-nonsense attitude, Seshan was credited with ushering in major electoral reforms during his tenure as the chief election commissioner.

Seshan’ strict commandments were: no bribing or intimidating voters, no distribution of liquor during the elections, no use of official machinery for campaigning, no appealing to voters’ caste or communal feelings, no use of religious places for campaigns and no use of loudspeakers without prior written permission.

He also enforced the Model Code of Conduct, strictly monitored limits on poll expenses, and cracked down on several malpractices like wall graffiti. The issuance of Voter IDs for all eligible voters came into being under his strict watch.

Born on December 15, 1932 in Palakkad, in then Madras Presidency, now in Kerala, will always be remembered for his contribution in strengthening India’s electoral institution.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled his demise. In a tweet, Mr Modi said, Seshan was as an outstanding civil servant who served the country with utmost diligence and integrity.

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