Delhi Tussle and “Elephant & Blind Men” !!

Blog by: Parveen Kaswan ( Author is the founder of SimplyDecoded )


The story of “ELEPHANT AND THE BLIND MEN” aptly describes some of the recent issues between LG and CM of Delhi in case of interpretation of various rules, though the blindness is caused due to the perceived political mileage.

Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, “Hey, there is an elephant in the village today.” They had no idea what an elephant is. They decided, “Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway.” All of them went where the elephant was. Everyone of them touched the elephant.

“Hey, the elephant is a pillar,” said the first man who touched his leg.

elephant and blind men

“Oh, no! it is like a rope,” said the second man who touched the tail.

“Oh, no! it is like a thick branch of a tree,” said the third man who touched the trunk of the elephant.

“It is like a big hand fan” said the fourth man who touched the ear of the elephant.

They began to argue about the elephant and everyone of them insisted that he was right. It looked like they were getting agitated. A wise man was passing by and he saw this. He stopped and asked them, “What is the matter?” They said, “We cannot agree to what the elephant is like.” Each one of them told what he thought the elephant was like. The wise man calmly explained to them, “All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all those features what you all said.”

In the same way agencies are interpreting the constitutional and other provisions according to their vested interets. It is a well known fact that by virtue of Article 239AA, Delhi is not a full fledged state nor it is a Union Territory (UT). So in short it is between the UT and a State. Law provides special powers to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, who is the constitutional head of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, in fields like Law and Order and Land. The power of council of ministers extends to the areas where legislative assembly of delhi has the power to legislate except the exceptions. So the Delhi government has all freedom to chose the officers for conducting various functions. The executive actions will be taken by the Lieutenant Governor  but with consultation with the council of ministers. The road become slippery when law also says that in case of a difference of opinion between the LG and Council, it can refer the matter to the President and in meantime he can take action, in case of urgency.

The legal and constitutional experts have different opinion about the matter. But one thing is sure that there is a need to solve the issue amicably and with appropriate consultations. It seems the LG was not able to take the ministers and CM in confidence and went forward by using his discretionary powers. Which the elected government was unable to digest, rightly so as they have the people’s backing. But at the same time government of Delhi has defamed a lady IAS officer in vain, just on the pretext that she has given a ‘letter of comfort’ to a company which is in a Joint Venture with the government. Without giving a show cause notice or evidence, they just called a reputed and senior (1984 batch) government servant corrupt. There is a big difference between ‘letter of comfort’ and ‘letter of guarantee’, in earlier cases also other officers have given letter of comfort in joint ventures. Various reports are suggesting that many IAS officers are now want to opt for other states and seeking their transfer, which is not good for the governance.

Though Mr. Kejriwal can ask for more devolution of power as he has mandate to do that but in current scenario the law is what it is. Being an insurgent have big political incentives but governance will be the real casualty !! The solution is not in confrontation but in consultation.

 (Pic Courtesy:

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