Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday condoled the death of former Chief Election Commissioner T N Seshan, and said he had played a key role in making the country's poll procedures free and fair.
The legendary poll reformer, who ruthlessly enforced the model code of conduct and led the game-changing electoral reforms in the 1990s, passed away in Chennai on Sunday night at the age of 86.
In his message, Vijayan recalled Seshan was an official who had repeatedly emphasised that there should be no external interference in the elections to make it free and transparent.
During his tenure as the CEC, he established the independent constitutional status and powers of the Election Commission through his effective interventions, the Chief Minister said.
Whenever the Centre tried to interfere into the powers of the Election Commission and influence its activities, Seshan had resisted fearlessly, Vijayan said adding he was a role model for those who exercise the responsibilities of the Commission.
Seshan was not keeping good health for the past couple of years and passed away around 9.30 p.m on Sunday.
He had been largely confined to his home in Chennai for the past several years due to his old age.
Known for his no-nonsense attitude, Seshan was credited with ushering in major electoral reforms during his tenure as the 10th CEC between December 12, 1990, and December 11, 1996.
Born in Thirunellai, Palakkad district of Kerala, he was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1996.
A 1955-batch Indian Administrative Service officer, he held various key posts in the government including that of the defence secretary and the coveted position of cabinet secretary.
But he gained popularity only after he took over as the chief election commissioner in 1990.