Condolences poured in from across the country, late on Sunday night, following the death of former Chief Election Commissioner TN Seshan in Chennai. From politicians to journalists, Seshan was remembered as an official who upheld democratic values and ensured free and fair elections in the country.
He was 86 years old and passed away at his residence in the city. Leaders cutting across party lines mourned his death and called him a guiding light.
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.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 10, 2019
Saddened by the demise of Shri TN Seshan. He was a true legend.— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) November 10, 2019
His contribution towards election reforms will be the guiding light for years to come. My deepest condolences. Om Shanti!
Sad that former ChiefElectionCommissioner— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) November 10, 2019
TN Seshan has passed away in Chennai. He was my father’s classmate at VictoriaCollege Palakkad — a courageous &crusty boss who asserted the ElectionCommission’s autonomy& authority as no CEC before him had done. A pillar of our democracy pic.twitter.com/FfGBuJnWoU
Saddened to know about the demise of T.N. Seshan, a stalwart for free and fair elections. His legendary contribution to democracy will be always remembered. My condolences to his family and many admirers— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) November 10, 2019
Passing away of Mr TN Seshan is the end of an era.— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 10, 2019
Free and fair elections are a basic and essential element of a parliamentary democracy and Mr Seshan proved how the Election Commission can ensure it.
You will be missed sir RIP https://t.co/zQrTbaI7kW
Deeply saddened to hear Shri TN Seshan passed away a short while ago. He was a true legend and a guiding force for all his successors in Indian EC. The Country will remember with gratitude to TN Seshan for his outstanding contribution to EC. pic.twitter.com/wFRfIBDDVe— Pon Radhakrishnan (@PonnaarrBJP) November 10, 2019
Passing away of former CEC Shri. TN Seshan is a great loss to the nation. He brought many reforms to the electoral system and his contributions shall always be remembered.— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) November 11, 2019
My deepest condolences to his family members, friends and well-wishers. pic.twitter.com/MbdvLWEsGB
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami offered his condolences to TN Seshan's family on Monday. Stating that he was pained by the death of TN Seshan, former Chief Election Commissioner and a retired senior IAS officer, he said, "He brought in many electoral reforms when he was the Chief Election Commissioner. He has also held many important positions in government of Tamil Nadu. He was a good administrator, hardworker and used to mingle with everybody in a kind manner."
DMK President MK Stalin also expressed his deepest condolence to TN Seshan's family and friends through a post on Facebook. "It would only be a fair tribute to TN Seshan if the Election Commission of India ensures to uphold his ideals of non-corrupt autonomy of the institution," he wrote adding that through his electoral reforms, TN Seshan will not only be known among the voters, but also prevail as the eternal light in Indian democracy's eyes.
TN Seshan was appointed the 10th Chief Election Commissioner by President Venkataraman in December 1990. In the next six years, he changed the face of the Commission bringing about sweeping electoral reforms. While elections in India were all about money and muscle power, the Commissioners before him could not ensure that the Model Code of Conduct was adhered to. It was Seshan who brought in the change, demolishing walls of resistance.
He advised the then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao to remove two sitting cabinet ministers over allegations of influencing voters. He cut down on allowed expenditure and had a zero tolerance policy for campaign speeches that stoked caste or communal sentiments.
Just been informed Mr TN Seshan is no more. I am informed he was ailing for some time.— Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi) November 10, 2019
He was an epitome of a decisive public servant who believed in constant improvement dynamically.
He was a very warm hearted person. One with a tough exterior with a very humane/soft interior
The passing away of Sh.Seshan marks the end of an era. He upheld the dignity of his office & earned respect by his fierce independence & effective functioning. A goalpost for his successors, he continues to be a benchmark for the constitutional framework of a thriving democracy.— ashok lavasa (@AshokLavasa) November 10, 2019
The Election Commission of India deeply mourns the passing away of Sh TN Seshan. Expressing his condolences, CEC Sh Sunil Arora said “T N Seshan was a legend. He will always be a source of inspiration to us and all CECs & ECs to come”.— Sheyphali Sharan (@SpokespersonECI) November 10, 2019
Thank you #TNSeshan. In your farewell, you have reminded us, yet again, what an individual who has the guts and courage to stand up, can do.— RadhakrishnanRK (@RKRadhakrishn) November 10, 2019
India would be in a far far better place if we had more men like TN Seshan. One of, if not the greatest chief election commissioners. I’ve known him for decades now - I will miss him.— Prannoy Roy (@PrannoyRoyNDTV) November 10, 2019
RIP TN Seshan ji, was an accomplished civil service officer in whichever role given to him but will always be remembered as someone who as Election Commissioner redefined ECI by bringing in transparency, efficiency and accountability.— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) November 10, 2019
Breaking now: a man who gave the EC a face, and more crucially, a spine, the formidable TN Seshan is no more. RIP— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) November 10, 2019
Sad to announce that Shri TN Seshan passed away a short while ago. He was a true legend and a guiding force for all his successors. I pray for peace to his soul.— Dr. S.Y. Quraishi (@DrSYQuraishi) November 10, 2019
He prohibited bribing, intimidation and liquor distribution. Though they were multiple rules in place already when he was appointed, it took an officer like Seshan who was unfazed by political backlash and criticism to enforce them.
Current Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, told the media, soon after Seshan's demise, that he will always be a source of inspiration to EC officials.
That a man like TN Seshan existed in India - head held high, with the arrogance of integrity - that this man was such a threat to all politicos that they did not give him the Bharat Ratna or the Padma awards - that we vote today thanks to him - Seshan Sir, the unsung Hero. RIP pic.twitter.com/p9Rb76B0FN— R S Prasanna (@rs_prasanna) November 10, 2019
TN #Seshan did not need any new laws/powers to change polling in India. His words "people have till now voted like dumb, driven cattle" before he stopped booth capturing were apt. Concept of 2 ECs and a CEC was started to check his powers. RIP— Rakesh M Chaturvedi (@_Rakesh_RC) November 10, 2019
An icon in India Sh T N Seshan, the man who taught everyone a lesson in contesting elections, a father figure for civil servants is more. Om Shanti. May he inspire a generation of civil servants who learn to differentiate right to wrong and stand up for their conscience. #India— Suketh Kumar Chinchela (@schinchela) November 10, 2019