Former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India Tirunellai Narayana Iyer Seshan, popularly known as TN Seshan, died of cardiac arrest on Sunday at his Chennai residence. He was 87 years old. TN Seshan was the 10th Chief Election Commissioner and had served form December 12, 1990, till December 11, 1996.
"Sad to announce that Shri TN Seshan (former Chief Election Commissioner of India) 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," SY Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner, was among the first to tweet about his death.
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
The legendary Seshan was not keeping good health for the past couple of years and he passed away at about 9.30pm, a senior police official told PTI.
Known for his no-nonsense attitude, he was largely confined to his home in Chennai for the past several years due to old age.
TN Seshan was a retired 1955 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Tamil Nadu cadre. Seshan had earlier served as the 18th Cabinet Secretary of India in 1989. He had also won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for his services to the government in 1996.
Born in December 1932 in Thirunellai, Palakkad district in Kerala, TN Seshan was a graduate in Physics and worked for three years as a demonstrator at the Madras Christian College. This is when he passed the IAS exam.
TN Seshan also studied at Harvard University on Edward S. Mason Fellowship where he earned a master's degree in public administration.
Before he was appointed as India's chief election official, he was the Cabinet Secretary, the senior most position in the civil services.
In 1997, Seshan had unsuccessfully contested the Presidential election against KR Narayanan.
Here's how prominent personalities paid tributes to TN Seshan:
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
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 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!
India loses yet another beloved son, a true trailblazer in the legendary exCEC #TNSeshan.— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) November 10, 2019
Indian Democracy will be indebted to him forever. His legacy will live on for time immemorial.
My deepest condolences to his family.
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.ðŸ™ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂðŸÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ¼— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) November 10, 2019
My heartfelt condolences at the passing away of former Chief Election Commissioner of India Sh. TN Seshan. May God give strength to his family members to bear this loss. May his soul rest in peace.— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) November 10, 2019