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S L SHAKDHAR VS INDIRA GANDHI
He had a showdown with then PM Indira Gandhi in 1981 following allegations of voter intimidation by Haryana police contingents on election duty in Garhwal (UP) from where former Congress leader H N Bahuguna was contesting as an independent. Shakdhar annulled the election and made Gandhi and the Congress cool their heels for a full year before ordering a re-poll. Much to the government's annoyance, Bahuguna won the election
R V S PERI SASTRI VS RAJIV GANDHI
He famously clashed with then PM Rajiv Gandhi in 1987 over the latter's insistence that presidential polls be advanced to precede the Haryana assembly elections so that the then president Giani Zail Singh would lose the advantage in his re-election bid to Rashtrapati Bhavan. Sastri refused to bow down and paid for it with harassment from income tax authorities and the appointment of two additional commissioners sent to clip his wings. He died in office
T N SESHAN VS P V NARASIMHA RAO
Seshan took on not only the government of the day headed by P V Narasimha Rao but also the entire political establishment including the Parliament. He strictly enforced the model code of conduct, closely monitored election expenses and insisted that all poll officials and security forces report directly to the Commission, not the government. He ran the risk of impeachment after he cancelled assembly polls in Bihar and Punjab in 1992. Matters came to a head in 1993 when he threatened to cancel future elections unless the government recognised the powers of the EC. Rao appointed two more commissioners with the same powers as Seshan, sparking off a feud within the EC and a long court case, which Seshan ultimately lost
J M LYNGDOH VS NARENDRA MODI
Lyngdoh challenged the BJP government, both at the centre and in Gujarat, by postponing state polls for six months after the 2002 riots because of the communalised atmosphere. He said he would not listen to the views of a "discredited" government. He earned the wrath of Narendra Modi and the entire Sangh parivar when he cancelled the VHP's planned yatra on the eve of elections. He also ruffled feathers in the political establishment for describing politicians as an incurable cancer
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