Amid Row, WB Chief Secretary Retires, Made Chief Advisor to Mamata
“I will not allow Alapan Bandyopadhyay to leave Nabanna. He is now the Chief Adviser to Chief Minister,” she said.
Amid a row with the Centre, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday, 31 May, announced that Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay has retired and he will be appointed as chief advisor to the chief minister from Monday.
“I will not allow Alapan Bandyopadhyay to leave Nabanna. He is now the Chief Adviser to Chief Minister,” CM Mamata Banerjee said, according to ANI.
He will remain chief advisor to the CM for the next three years, Banerjee added, while Hari Krishna Dwivedi will be the next Bengal chief secretary.
With regard to a letter from Centre, which had asked the chief secretary to join North Block from Tuesday, Banerjee said that since Alapan Bandyopadhyay had retired from service on Monday, and would not be heading to Delhi.
She said that Bengal had just received this letter and the reason for calling the Bengal chief secretary to join the Centre had not been mentioned in the letter to her.
“Centre cannot force an officer to join it without consent of the state government: Mamata on letter asking Bengal chief secretary to report to Delhi,” she said, according to PTI.
Referring to Centre’s decision to recall Bandyopadhyay to Delhi, Banerjee said PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were “behaving like autocrats such as Hitler and Stalin.”
“I appeal to all state governments, Opposition leaders, IAS-IPS officers, NGOs to fight the battle together,” she added.
Earlier on Monday, Banerjee had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that the state government "cannot release, and is not releasing its chief secretary at this critical hour".
In her letter, the West Bengal CM requested rescinding the order, which asked the state government to relieve Bandyopadhyay for further posting at the Centre.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED SO FAR?
The Government of India on Friday, 28 May, asked the West Bengal government to relieve Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay for further posting at the Centre.
A communication read, “... The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the placement of the services of Alapan Bandyopadhyay, IAS (WB: 1987) with the Government of India, as per provisions of Rule 6(1) of the Indian Administrative Service (Cadre) Rules, 1954, with the immediate effect. Accordingly, the State Government is requested to relieve the officer with immediate effect and direct him to report to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), North Block, New Delhi, by 10 am on 31 May 2021.”
WHO IS ALAPAN BANDOPADHYAY?
Bandyopadhyay, a 1987-batch IAS officer, took over as the chief secretary after Rajiv Sinha retired in September last year. He was due to retire on 31 May, but received a three-month extension from the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) on a request from the state government to continue tackling the COVID situation in the state.
DoPT is the cadre-controlling authority of IAS officers and comes under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
The Centre has cited Section 6(1) of the IAS Cadre Rules in the communication to recall Bandyopadhyay, which states that a cadre officer may be deputed to the Centre with the concurrence of the state government.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)
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