The controversy surrounding Alapan Bandyopadhyay, West Bengal’s former Chief Secretary, is refusing to die as the bureaucrat has been served a show-cause notice by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). Bandyopadhyay has been asked to explain why action should not be taken against him for overlooking the previous order to report to New Delhi.
In another letter, Bandyopadhyay, a 1987-batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre, has been asked to report to New Delhi at 10 AM, Tuesday, June 1.
According to sources, the government is contemplating requisite action against him.
Earlier in the day, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appointed Bandyopadhyay as Chief Advisor for three years effective from Tuesday, after allowing the bureaucrat who was ordered by the central government to report to Delhi, to retire.
The chief minister told newspersons here that the central government had asked Bandopadhyay to report to Delhis North Block on Tuesday, but she added an officer cannot join a new office without permission from the state administration.
“The CS got a letter from the Centre asking him to join North Block by tomorrow. This is not a reply to my letter but to the CS. I have not received any reply from it to the letter which I had sent earlier today,” she said.
“We are not relieving him (Bandopadhyay). He has superannuated today, but he will act as chief advisor to the CM for the next three years,” Banerjee said.
The chief minister earlier in the day had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to withdraw the Centre’s order recalling the Chief Secretary, and asserted her government “cannot release, and is not releasing” the top bureaucrat.
The move opens up various possibilities on possible action by the Central government against the top bureaucrat.
It also lays bare the adversarial relationship between the state and central government which has been simmering for some time and which seems to be deteriorating into what many observers described as a ‘no holds barred battle’.
The Centre, in a surprise move, had on May 28 night sought Bandyopadhyay’s services and asked the state government to immediately release the top bureaucrat, hours after Banerjee met the Prime Minister at Kalaikunda airbase for 15 minutes instead of a longer scheduled review meeting of the
post-cyclone situation in West Bengal.
(With inputs from agencies)