NEW DELHI || Prime minister Narendra Modi has condoled the demise of former chief election commissioner (CEC) TN Seshan, who passed away on Sunday. In a Tweet, the prime minister 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.”
Seshan was 86 and died of a cardiac arrest at his Chennai home. He had become some kind of an icon of Indian bureaucracy for ushering in tectonic reforms in the country’s electoral process during his tenure in the nineties.
A retired 1955 batch Indian Administrative Service officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre, he had led the Election Commission from 1990 to 1996.
As the 10th Chief Election Commissioner of India and had received the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award, considered Asia’s Nobel, for his initiatives in making the electoral process more transparent.
Born in 1932 in Kerala’s Palakkad district, the former bureaucrat had joined the civil services in 1955 and served as secretary of several departments in Tamil Nadu and at the centre during his decades-long career.
Before he was appointed as India’s chief election official, he was handpicked by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to be the Cabinet Secretary, the senior most position in the civil services. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi has also condoled the demise of Seshan.