CHENNAI: Former chief election commissionerT N Seshan is no more. He died at his residence here on Sunday and the last rights will be performed this afternoon. An IAS officer of great integrity, Seshan raised the stature of the administrative service with his actions that will remain as great examples to the bureaucrats forever. A Tamil Brahmin, he also brought credit to his community by his exemplary work as a top official.
Seshan’s wife had predeceased him, and he was living a lonely life, except for a batch of caretakers at his ALwarpet residence. The death occurred at age 87, at around 10pm. Shortly before, he had dinner and retired to bed, which turned out to be an eternal sleep.
Seshah brought about a great degree of strength and legitimacy to the chief election commission as its head, and withstood government pressure. Such was his integrity, no government dared to question him. He was a 1955-batch IAS officer. He was cabinet secretary in 1989 and also headed for a period the Indian Space Research Organisation. He was the 10th Chief Election Commissioner of India, from 1990 to 1996.
Such was his administrative grasp and discipline that he said, while as CEC, that he had no more than half an hour’s work a day, which he did when he reached office. The rest he delegated to second level officers and the system worked perfectly well. Where he had to put his foot down, he did it with courage, be it politicians or others.
Seshan was born in Palakkad, Kerala, in 1932 December 15. He won Magsaysay award in 1996.
Tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi: “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,” Modi tweeted. –IHN-NN
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