Bengal Defies Centre, Refuses To Release Chief Secy

Three days after the Central government had issued an order to recall West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday asserted that the state government “can’t release and is not releasing its Chief Secretary at this critical hours” and requested the Prime Minister to withdraw, recall and reconsider the decision and rescind the order.

“I request you “to withdraw, recall, reconsider your decision and rescind the latest so-called order in 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. The latest order is also clearly in violation of applicable laws and against public interest: it is in any case ab initio void,” stated the letter written by Mamata to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.

She further said, “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 releast 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.

She also alleged that the unilateral “order” came without any prior consultation with the Government of West Bengal, ‘without any volition by the officer, without meeting any of the pre- conditions of the Indian Administrative Service (Cadre) Rules; 1954 and other applicable laws under reference.

She further alleged that the unilateral directive is legally untenable, historcally unprecedented and wholly unconstitutional.

Banerjee’s letter further said, “Only a few days back, on my request, you had kindly allowed, and the Government of India had issued an order to extend his service for 3 months as Chief Secretary, beyond 31st May, 2021 for the purpose that he could serve.”

The West Bengal Chief Minister said with the state severely affected by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and further devastated by an extremely severe cyclone, she presumes that the said order granting extension to Alapan Bandyopadhyay as the Chief Secretary of the state, issued after mutual written consultations stands in any case.

“I really and sincerely hope that this, latest order is not related to my meeting with you at Kalaikunda. If that is the reason, it would be sad, unfortunate and would amount a to sacrificing public interest at the altar of misplaced priorities,” read the letter.

“I thus humbly appeal to your conscience and good sense, on behalf of the people of West Bengal and request you to rescind, the latest ‘order’,” the West Bengal Chief Minister requested in her letter to the Prime Minister.

The Central government on Friday issued an order to recall West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay from the State and deputed him to the Department of Personnel and Training, Delhi. Bandyopadhyay has to report to North Block by May 31.

The development took place after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee along with the state chief secretary skipped the review meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday aftermath of Cyclone Yaas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting at Kalaikunda in Paschim Medinipur district to take stock of the post-cyclonic situation. Mamata Banerjee was supposed to attained the meeting.

However, she arrived late by 30 minutes and handed him over reports of damage caused by the impact of Cyclone Yaas. Following this, she and the state chief secretary left for her “pre-scheduled” meeting at Digha. (ANI)

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