Former Chief Election Commissioner TN Seshan Passes Away at 86

A recepient of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award, Seshan introduced key reforms in India’s electoral process. 

2 min read
Ex-CEC Tirunellai Narayana Seshan died of cardiac arrest in Chennai. 

Former Chief Election Commissioner Tirunellai Narayana Seshan died of cardiac arrest on Sunday, 10 November in Chennai. A recipient of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award, Seshan introduced key reforms in India’s electoral process during his tenure in the 90s.

He was the Chief Election Commissioner of India from 1990 to 1996 and played a major role in ending electoral malpractices in the country.

A 1955-batch IAS officer, he served in various capacities before he was appointed as Secretary of Defence in 1988, following which he went on to lead the poll body from 1990 to 1996.

Prominent personalities from across the country including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, took to Twitter to express grief over Seshan's death.

While Shashi Tharoor hailed the former CEC as a pillar of Indian democracy, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee credited him for free and fair elections in India.

BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan also expressed deepest condolences to TN Seshan’s family while adding that Indian democracy will be indebted to him forever.

President of India, Ram Nath Kovind also condoles the former Election Commissioner’s death. He said that Seshan’s stint as Chief Election Commissioner marked an epochal phase of electoral reforms.

Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami, DMK President Stalin Condole Death

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and leaders of political parties including DMK president MK Stalin on Monday paid rich tributes to former chief election ommissioner TN Seshan and condoled his death.

Palaniswami, in his message, hailed Seshan as a hard worker and an excellent administrator.

Expressing grief, the Chief Minister said during his stint as CEC, Seshan ushered in various electoral reforms and had held several key positions in the Tamil Nadu government.

DMK president MK Stalin, along with senior leader TR Baalu, visited Seshan's residence to lay a wreath and convey condolences.

TN Seshan's last rites are likely to be performed on Monday, 11 November, family members said.

Left Parties Condole Death of Legendary Poll Reformer T N Seshan

Left parties on Monday, 11 November condoled the death of former Chief Election Commissioner T N Seshan, saying his "absence will be felt gravely in today's times".

"The absence of late T N Seshan will be felt gravely in today's times. Notwithstanding our many disagreements, he made the Election Commission a tough and independent institution. This is in stark contrast to what we have today. Deep condolences to his family and near ones," tweeted CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury.

The National Secretariat of the Communist Party of India said in a statement that Seshan will always be known as the man who brought in electoral reforms that "changed the face of Indian elections".

"Notable among them was the implementation of the Model Code of Conduct, which is a set of guidelines issued to regulate political parties and candidates prior to elections.

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