It was in 1999 General Elections that T N Seshan, the person who made the people of India realise the power of Election Commisssion of India made a wrong decision to contest the elections from Gandhinagar in Gujarat against L K Advani. He lost but still could gain 2,64,285 votes translating into 35% of the votes. Impressive by any standards because apart from sitting and reading newspapers in a temporary home in Gandhinagar he cared least to even campaign.
When I went to him for the second time in as many days with a reporter from Kerala who was not well versed in English, his first condition was to be probed with only sharp questions and second was not to be asked in any other language than English. This reporter was at bay because he had no idea of the sharpness of the questions he has framed and his English was as poor as the local ice cream vendor nearby. Visibly shaken, he asked a question that Seshan hated. “Why are you contesting from this place leaving his home state of Tamil Nadu?”. Seshan got annoyed because he has answered this many times and said there is no reason he should repeat it. The next question from the reporter never came. Instead I barged in with some local questions like the caste factor of the constituency, the winning formula etc.