Bengal, May 31: Alapan Bandyopadhyay has announced the retirement of the post of Chief Secretary and has been made the chief advisor to the Bengal government.
“Since Alapan Banerjee has retired today on May 31 from his service, he is not going to join in Delhi. I will not allow Alapan Banerjee to leave Nabanna. Alapan Bandyopadhyay is now the Chief Advisor to Chief Minister. We have appointed HK Dwivedi as the new Chief Secretary and BP Gopalika as the new Home Secretary,” Mamata Banerjee announced.
The formalities regarding this decision are still unclear. Alapan Bandyopadhyay’s tenure as Chief Secretary was to end today, however, as per CM Mamata’s request, he was granted an extension.
While it was being said that Alapan Bandyopadhyay is yet to accept the Home Ministry’s offer for an extension of service, there are now contrary claims stating that the tenure automatically extends as per MHA order.
Sources report that Union Home Ministry has issued a notice to state the reason behind the fresh move as he is yet to formally resign from the post.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday afternoon chaired a review meeting on Cyclone Yass and said that Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay has a responsibility here in storm-affected areas in the state.
The TMC Supremo earlier today also requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw the Centre’s order recalling state chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay. In a letter to the PM, Mamata urged him to reconsider the decision to recall the chief secretary and said that her government “is not releasing” the top bureaucrat.
All About The Incident
Bandyopadhyay, a 1987-batch IAS officer of the West Bengal cadre was scheduled to retire on May 31 after completion of 60 years of age.
However, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to grant Bandyopadhyay an extension for at least six months as he had extensive experience with respect to handling the Covid-19 pandemic, with the threat of Cyclone Yaas also coming in.
He was granted a three-month extension following a nod from the Centre.
Amid a fresh row between the Centre and West Bengal state government, West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay was asked to report to New Delhi as his services were sought there, a move termed by the ruling Trinamool Congress as “forced deputation“.
This decision came in barely four days after he was granted an extension.
The order came on the day when PM Modi visited Odisha and West Bengal to review the situation and damages caused by Cyclone Yaas. West Bengal Chief Minister was reported to have skipped the review meeting.
According to sources, West Bengal CM and Chief Secretary arrived late by 30 mins for cyclone review meet despite being on the same premises. It has been reported that the CM upon entering the review meet handed over papers related to the cyclone impact and left saying that other meetings were lined up.
The Ministry also directed Bandyopadhyay to report to the Department of Personnel and Training, North Block, New Delhi by 10 am on May 31, while asking the state government to relieve the officer with immediate effect.
However, Alapan Bandyopadhyay did not report to New Delhi today. With the fresh move by CM Mamata Banerjee, the fresh tussle between the Centre and the West Bengal state government has escalated and taken a new turn.