T.N Seshan is a retired 1955 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Tamil Nadu cadre. He is also best remembered as the man who cleaned up elections in India.
He was the most admired and controversial Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India (1990–96).
He was the first CEC to actually implement the Model Code of Conduct and the rule of law. Before him, election commissioners were happy to just announce election results. He was equally strict with politicians and couldn’t be pressurized by any of them.
He eliminated several malpractices like:
👉 Bribing or influencing voters.
👉 Distribution of liquor .
👉 Using official machinery for campaigning.
👉 Appealing to voters’ caste or communal feelings.
👉 Use of holy places for campaigns.
If it was not for him, the country wouldn’t have realized the enormous powers vested in the CEC and CEC can change society and the Indian polity.
👉 He made it mandatory for every voter to have an ID Card to cast his/her vote and put a limit on candidates poll expenditure .
👉 Due to his strict policies and implementation he was also labelled, in turn as – “Al-Seshan (Alsatian)” so much so, that electoral ‘battles’ would be dubbed by them as: “Seshan versus Nation”