CHENNAI: Condolences poured in from political leaders, bureaucrats and members of the public as the mortal remains of TN Seshan, India's tenth Chief Election Commissioner, were laid to rest on Monday.
Seshan was widely known for reforming the electoral system and introducing checks and balances to prevent corruption in it. Apart from introducing the Voter ID system, he was also instrumental in limiting the funds spent on election campaigns, capping campaign time at 10 pm and implementing the code of conduct followed during elections across the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Twitter, said Seshan was as an outstanding civil servant who served the country with utmost diligence and integrity. “His efforts towards electoral reforms have made our democracy stronger and more participative. Pained by his demise. Om Shanti,” he tweeted.
Politicians including former Union Minister and BJP senior leader Pon Radhakrishnan, DMK leaders MK Stalin, TR Balu, K Anbalagan, TMC leader GK Vasan and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar visited his residence to pay condolences on Monday. Commissioner of Police AK Viswanathan, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and Secretary to Government Satyabrata Sahoo, former national security advisor MK Narayanan and other present and former government officials also paid their condolences in person. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan sent flowers to Seshan's family.
Condoling Seshan's death at his residence on Monday, Stalin said that the former Chief Election Commissioner was a protector of electoral democracy. GK Vasan said that the country has lost the man responsible for introducing the voter ID. Radhakrishnan too praised Seshan's reforms and added, "Even subsequent changes to Indian elections were based on his initiatives," he said.
Police officials told Express that Seshan had suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday night leading to his death. His wife Jayalakshmi Seshan passed away last year. His funeral took place in Besant Nagar.