Former Chief Election Commissioner TN Seshan passes away at 86

Former Chief Election Commissioner TN Seshan passes away at 86

Former chief election commissioner (CEC) TN Seshan passed away in Chennai, Tamil Nadu on November 10 following a cardiac arrest. He was 86.

Seshan was known for having ruthlessly enforced the model code of conduct and led the game-changing electoral reforms in the 1990s.

He was not keeping good health for the past few years and passed away at 9.45 pm, his daughter Srividhya .

Though Seshan was largely confined to his home due to age-related health issues for the past few years, he was always passionate to write about his journey, the people he knew and eventful years in service of the people.

"It, however, did not materialise," Srividhya said.

In accordance with his wishes, she said, a trust was formed last August for propagation of spirituality, the "Narayaneeyam," a spiritual and devotional compilation and the Vedas.

Known for his no-nonsense attitude, Seshan was credited with ushering in major electoral reforms during his tenure as the CEC between December 12, 1990, and December 11, 1996.

It was said that he used to wield a big stick while enforcing the model code of conduct to reign in muscle and money power during elections.

Born in Thirunellai, Palakkad district of Kerala, he was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1996.

In his acceptance speech of the prestigious award, Seshan had said: "I deemed this award a tribute to the process of democracy throughout the free world, to the wisdom of millions of India's electorate not always necessarily formally educated, to the millions of Indian voters who have overcome disabilities of economic status, social disability, poverty, and prejudice to walk into the ballot booth and use that little marking stamp to decidedly say who they want to rule over them."