Amidst the tussle between the Central government and West Bengal over Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has now stooped down to playing petty games. After refusing to relieve Alapan Bandyopadhyay, Mamata Banerjee announced his retirement from the post of the state’s chief secretary. This move was clearly taken to ignore the central government’s order to release him for further posting at the Centre.
Our chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay retired today; he will continue as chief advisor to CM for next three years: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) May 31, 2021
“Since Alapan Bandyopadhyay has retired today on May 31 from his service, he is not going to join in Delhi,” Mamata said, adding that he will continue as the chief advisor to CM for the next three years.
“I will not allow him (Alapan Bandyopadhyay) to leave Nabanna. He 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 told the media.
Centre issues show cause notice to Alapan Bandyopadhyay
This move came after the Centre issued a show-cause notice to Alapan Bandyopadhyay after he failed to report to the department of personnel, public grievances and pensions (DoPT) in New Delhi today (Monday). The Centre had asked the top bureaucrat to join tomorrow (Tuesday).
Evidently, since the central government had recalled West Bengal Chief Secretary to Delhi and asked the state govt to release him with ‘immediate effect’, Mamata Banerjee, according to her whims, decided to suddenly retire the WB chief Secretary only to appoint him as her advisor from Tuesday.
Mamata Banerjee refuses to relieve Chief Secretary
Earlier in the day, Mamata Banerjee, in her 5-page letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused to relieve Alapan Bandyopadhyay, Chief Secretary, West Bengal. In her letter, she called the union government’s order asking Bandyopadhyay to report to North Block by 10 AM on Monday ‘wholly unconstitutional’. She said, “I have been shocked and stunned by the unilateral order 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 May 31, 2021.”
Mamata Banerjee had requested to let Alapan Bandyopadhyay continue as the Chief Secretary
Interestingly, Mamata Banerjee herself had requested the central government to allow Alapan Bandyopadhyay to continue as the Chief Secretary of the state for another three months. Accordingly, Bandyopadhyay’s tenure was extended as the chief secretary by the central government on May 24.
On May 24, Banerjee, while announcing the extension, had said: “Our chief secretary has got an extension for three months. We are happy because he has got the experience of working during last year’s Amphan as well as during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic”.