Former Chief Election Commissioner Tirunellai Narayanaiyer Seshan died in Chennai on November 10. He was 87.

Contribution of T.N. Seshan

  1. He has severely cracked the whip on money and muscle power in elections. He was known to follow a no-nonsense approach, and had enforced, in his own way, discipline on political parties and contestants. He earned the wrath of several politicians including former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa who had once described him as an “embodiment of arrogance”.
  2. His work as CEC got an international recognition when he was given the Ramon Magsaysay award for 1996.
  3. He was the only one to hold the post of CEC for six years from 1990 to 1996 in the last 50 years.
  4. In July 1997, he had unsuccessfully contested in the Presidential election against K.R. Narayanan, who was backed by almost all the parties in the country. Against Narayanan’s 9,56,290 votes, Seshan could poll only 50,631 votes. Two years later, in the Gandhinagar parliamentary constituency, the Congress fielded him against the then Union Home Minister L.K. Advani of the BJP. Seshan lost by a margin of around 2 lakh votes.

Source: The Hindu

Relevant for GS Prelims