Alapan Bandopadhyay, the officer at the centre of the latest war of words between Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Centre, has been served a show-cause notice by the Modi government for skipping a meeting chaired by the prime minister.
Bandyopadhyay retired as Bengal’s Chief Secretary on Monday and was immediately appointed Chief Adviser by Banerjee, who refused to release him after the Centre ordered his transfer on Friday.
In the notice issued on Monday evening, Bandopadhyay was asked to explain his absence from the meeting on Cyclone Yaas in Bengal.
The Centre has served a notice under the Disaster Management Act and asked Bandopadhyay to respond within three days.
The notice has been issued on the premise that the meeting that the officer failed to attend involved “affairs of the Centre”.
An IAS officer of the 1987 batch, Alapan Bandyopadhyay was the additional chief secretary of micro, small and medium enterprises and textiles department before he was appointed in the home and information department in 2019.
He is known as an excellent task master and therefore he was the ‘blue-eyed boy’ during the Left Front rule in Bengal.
After Mamata came to power in 2011, he once again earned praise for his hard work.
Mamata Banerjee and her team had on Friday left after a brief interaction with PM Modi to review the impact of Cyclone Yaas in Bengal.
Reacting to this Union governemnt angreil reacted and On May 28, Bandopadhyay was recalled by the Centre on deputation reportedly for his absence.
Not yileding to Modi’s governemnt pressure Banerjee wrote a letter to the prime minister on Monday, saying she was “shocked and stunned” by the “unilateral order” asking Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay to report to the Centre, and made it clear that the state government “is not releasing” him.
“The government of Bengal cannot release, and is not releasing, its Chief Secretary at this critical hour, on the basis of our understanding that the earlier order of extension, issued after lawful consultation in accordance with applicable laws, remains operational and valid,” Banerjee wrote.
“Respected sir, I therefore humbly request you to withdraw, recall, reconsider your decision and rescind the latest so called in larger public interest because we cannot release, and it not releasing, the State Chief Secretary at this critical hour, on the basis of our understanding that the earlier order of extension, issued after lawful consultation in accordance with applicable laws, remains operational and valid,” Mamata’s letter to PM Modi .
The Trinamool Congress on Monday said that the Centre’s order to recall Alapan Bandopadhyay will affect the fight against the raging COVID-19 pandemic and relief work after the devastation wreaked by cyclone Yaas in the state.
It is to noted On May 10, 2021, West Bengal government asked for Alapan’s extension from the Centre and on May 24 they granted his extension.
Surprisingly, on May 28, he was recalled on central deputation reportedly after he gave a miss to PM Modi’s review meeting at Kalaikunda in West Midnapore on May 28.
Mamata Banerjee also sought explanation from the Centre to clarify the reason behind Alapan’s recall letter which was issued just four days after giving him the extension for three months by the Centre itself.
Alapan was due to retire on May 31, 2021 but he was given a three-month extension on request of the West Bengal government amid surge in COVID-19 cases and considering his vast experience in managing relief operations during natural calamity.
However, amid a recall order, Alapan decided to discontinue his extension and expressed his desire to retire.
Following his decision, she was made Mamata Banerjee’s Chief Adviser on Monday
Social media bloggers ciritised Union government’s move calling this as petty child like reactions at large