Tuesday, June 22, 2021

WB CS resigns, becomes Chief Advisor to State govt.

Bandopadhyay, Mamata Banerjee

Kolkota: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has done it again. She has appointed her chief secretary who was under transfer to Delhi as her chief advisor. Alapan Bandopadhyay, West Bengal Government’s Chief Secretary, was supposed to report in Delhi on Monday by 10 am. He was not relieved by West Bengal government. He, instead, resigned from the government job, and reported as Chief Advisor to Mamata Banerjee’s government.

Mamata in her letter to the prime minister made it clear that she would not be able to relieve Bandopadhyay from his duty in the midst of fight against Covid. After Bandopadhyay’s retirement, HK Dwivedi has taken over as Chief Secretary, she announced.

“They have given no reason (for the transfer). I am shocked. I have decided we need his service for the Covid pandemic. For Covid and for Cyclone Yaas, he must continue his service to the poor, the State, the country, the affected people…” Mamata said.

“If a bureaucrat is insulted after he has dedicated his life to his work, what message is the government and PM sending out? Are they bonded labourers? There are many Bengali cadre officers at the Centre. Can I recall them without consultation, Mr Prime Minister? Mr Busy Prime Minister? Mr. Mann-ki-baat Prime Minister?

Bandopadhyay is on three months extension of service. He is a highly respected bureaucrat. He worked in Ananad Bazar Patrika before joining  the services. Bandopadhyay was transferred soon after Mamata Banerjee met the PM and left to some other destination deep into Bengal to see the damage caused by the cyclone. Chief Secreatry Bandopadhyay followed her. She met the prime minister after his helicopter landed at the Kalaikunda airbase, gave him a requisition and asked for his permission and left. The Central government sources made it an issue calling Mamata’s behavior as petulant and saying, “never before in the history of Indian Republic has a chief minister of a state behaved in such an ugly, disrespectful and arrogant manner with the prime minister.”

Banerjee wrote a letter to Modi this morning. “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.” She further said, “I am sure you will not inflict further suffering on the people of this state by taking way the services of an experienced officer, suddenly without any consultation and with no prior notice, whose continued presence in my state in these difficult times was accepted to be vital and necessary by your government four days back (when the extension of three months was granted to the CS).”

Also read: Mamata had a point

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