Chief Election Commissioner: He is a milestone in the history of Election Commission.

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Once upon a time, Bihar was known as ‘Lalu Yuga’. Also, at that time, news like booth capturing was common during elections. But by 1995 as Election Commissioner

Once upon a time, Bihar was known as ‘Lalu Yuga’. Also, at that time, news like booth capturing was common during elections. But by 1995, TN Session was the Chief Election Commissioner of the Election Commission. He decided to hold elections in phases by changing the polling dates. It was a sensational decision in the country. Not only was the security system strong under his watch, but the administrative preparations were also perfect. When he was the Election Commissioner, all the work was not done as expected by the ruling RJD. Perhaps the people of Bihar experienced such a situation for the first time.

Lalu Prasad was furious over Session’s strict measures. Bihar assembly elections were held under Session’s leadership. In that election, Janata Dal won 167 seats. Lalu became the CM again. But his percentage of votes decreased. 61.79 percent voting took place in Bihar under the influence of Session. But the number of deleted votes almost doubled from 5,65,851 (1990) to 11,25,854 (1995). Elections were held in 4 phases of the session and the dates were changed four times. This is the longest voting in the history of Bihar. Apart from minor incidents, there were no disturbances in that order.

Not those who take a step back..

Session was the Chief Election Commissioner of the Election Commission from 1990 to 1996. From Himachal Pradesh Governor Gulsher Ahmed, Bihar CM Lalu Prasad, Bengal CM Jyoti Basu to Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, he spared no one during his tenure. “I eat politicians for breakfast,” he used to say. Even after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, he postponed the Lok Sabha elections without asking the then government. In October 1993, the PV Narasimha Rao government made the Election Commission a multi-member body by appointing two Assistant Commissioners to the Election Commission. Although Session continued as Chief Election Commissioner, his powers were somewhat reduced. Session asked the Supreme Court to intervene on the issue. But the court’s decision came in favor of the government.

The battle for photo ID

According to Rule 37 of the Representation of the People Act, the Election Commission has the right to hold or not to hold an election. They want to bring voter ID with session photo to prevent fake voters. Session decided to use Rule 37 if the government delays in bringing voter ID with photo. In such situations, there is a deadlock between the central and state governments. Former Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh likened it to a ‘democratic deadlock’. But then West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu also called Session a ‘mad dog’. Sessions backed down somewhat after legal intervention. However, the current voter identity card with photo is the result of his will. Also, during a case held in November, the Supreme Court indirectly glorified him by saying, “The best person should be the CEC… the system needs a person like TN Session”.

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