West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi refusing to release state Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, who was abruptly recalled to Delhi days after he received a three-month extension. In her letter to PM Modi, Mamata said that the state government cannot release its Chief Secretary in ‘critical hours’. “I must confess that I have been shocked and stunned by the unilateral order dated 28th May, 2021 sent to us by the Government of India, asking us to release Sri Alapan Bandyopadhyay IAS, Chief Secretary, West Bengal, so that he may join the Government of India on 31st May, 2021, the normal date of his superannuation,” said Banerjee in her letter.
She said that a ‘unilateral letter’ was issued without any consultation and is ‘legally untenable, historically unprecedented and wholly unconstitutional’. “With unilateral and non-consultative order being issued, the federal system is greatly endangered and severely undermined,” she said.
Mamata Banerjee also said that the Centre’s order does not provide any details, reasons as to why the central deputation of Alapan Bandyopadhyay is required suddenly in Delhi and that too only a few days after granting an order of extension.
“I therefore humbly request you to withdraw, recall, reconsider your decision and rescind the latest so-called order in the larger public interest. The Government of West 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,” said Mamata Banerjee.
CM Mamata Banerjee also raised the issue of Suvendu Adhikari’s presence in the meeting called by PM Modi in wake of cyclone Yaas. She said that ‘an individual MLA, having no locus, attending the meeting was unacceptable’.
The Centre on Friday night had sought Bandyopadhyay’s services and asked the state government to immediately release the top bureaucrat. He was asked to report to Delhi at 10 am today. 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.