Master of The Polls

An autocratic election commissioner wins a power struggle with Prime Minister Rao

DEMOCRACY IN INDIA HAS LONG BEEN a lively -- often scandalous -- business. In years gone by, scores of people have died during federal and state elections where armed goons fought with knives and bombs over the chance to stuff ballot boxes for their party's choice. But for the past three years, those rough-and- tumble antics have been on the wane -- largely as a result of the will and drive of Tirunellai Narayanaiyer Seshan, 61, the country's ninth chief election commissioner, who is determined to bring law and order to the election process. Problem is, not all politicians like it;...

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