West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay quits; Mamata Banerjee names him chief advisor to CM

Amid the ongoing tussle with the central government, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that Alapan Bandyopadhyay has retired as the Bengal chief secretary. He will be appointed as chief advisor to chief minister from today, Mamata further added.

FP Staff May 31, 2021 17:49:52 IST
West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay quits; Mamata Banerjee names him chief advisor to CM

File image of IAS officer Alapan Bandopadhyay. ANI

Amid the ongoing tussle with the central government, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that Alapan Bandyopadhyay has retired as the Bengal chief secretary. He will be appointed as chief advisor to chief minister from today, Mamata further added. "He didn't ask for an extension, we asked for his service to public during COVID and cyclone," the CM reportedly said.

The announcement comes hours after Mamata wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that she would not send Bandyopadhyay to Delhi. Mamata had made it clear that she would not follow the Centre's order shifting Bandyopadhyay to the Centre at a time when the state is battling the second wave of COVID. The Centre, she said, responded by insisting that he has to report to Delhi. After Bandyopadhyay's retirement, HK Dwivedi has taken over as Chief Secretary, Mamata announced.

NDTV reported Mamata as saying, "They have given no reason. 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...".

"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?" she further added.

In a five-page letter to the prime minister, Mamata had said, "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."

Bandyopadhyay was ordered to report to the Centre at 10 am today in a recall order issued hours after Mamata skipped a Cyclone Yaas review meeting with Modi.

In the letter, the CM further said that she was shocked by the Centre's decision and termed the order as "unilateral", and pointed out that it had been done "without any prior consultation" with the state government.

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