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Bengal Govt Will Give Full Support to Ex-Chief Secy Alapan: Mamata

Amid the ongoing feud between the Centre and TMC, Bandhyopadhyay was sent a show-cause notice by the Home Ministry.

Updated
Politics
3 min read
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.
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Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on Wednesday, 2 June, announced her "full support" for the former State Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay amid the squabble over his evasion of his summons to the central government offices in Delhi.

Alapan Bandyopadhyay chapter is over now. The West Bengal government will give full support to Alapan Bandyopadhyay in whatever is going around with him.”
West Bengal Mamata Banerjee said, as per PTI.

In the latest contention amid the ongoing tussle between the Centre and the Bengal government, Bandhyopadhyay was served a show-cause notice by the Home Ministry for his absence from the Cyclone ‘Yaas’ review meeting held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in West Bengal on Friday – a conference that Banerjee also received much flak for skipping.

Who Is Alapan Bandopadhyay?

Bandyopadhyay, a 1987-batch IAS officer, took over as the Chief Secretary of Bengal after the former appointee, Rajiv Sinha, retired from the post in September 2020.

Bandopadhyay was due to retire on 31 May 2020, but had received a three-month extension from the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) on a request from the state government, which had asserted his key role in the management of the COVID situation in the state.

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.

This came on the day when a fresh row had erupted between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting on Cyclone ‘Yaas’.

The communication issued by the Centre 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.”

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After Bandopadhyay failed to be present on Monday morning, the Centre sent a reminder to Bandyopadhyay to report to the Personnel Ministry in Delhi at 10 am on Tuesday, failing which disciplinary action would be initiated against him.

Earlier on Monday, Banerjee had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stating that the state government “cannot release, and is not releasing its chief secretary at this critical hour.”

Hours later on the same day, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that Bandyopadhyay retired as chief secretary, and he was appointed as her chief advisor.

Amid the ongoing tussle with the West Bengal government, the Centre on Monday issued a show-cause notice to Bandyopadhyay for his absence from the Cyclone ‘Yaas’ review meeting held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in West Bengal on Friday.

The Centre’s notice was served under the Disaster Management Act and directed Bandopadhyay to respond within three days as to why action should not be taken against him under Section 51 of the act.

As per official sources, a charge sheet may be issued against Bandyopadhyay, and disciplinary action may be taken. As per the law, disciplinary action can be initiated against an officer for up to a period of four years after his/her retirement.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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