West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that her administration will stand by Alapan Bandyopadhyay in his confrontation with the central government. The conflict has arisen due to the notice served to him by the Union Home Ministry after the former state chief secretary Bandopadhyay was called to Delhi and did not attend the Prime Minister’s meeting. The West Bengal Chief Minister also claimed that the Alapan Bandyopadhyay controversy is now a finished chapter. However, he did not clarify how the retired officer could face criminal action by the Center for
Mamta had only 15 minutes meeting with PM
Bandopadhyay was asked by the central government to report to the North Block in Delhi following the controversy that arose after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s review meeting with Chief Minister Banerjee on May 28 after the cyclonic storm. The Chief Minister held a 15-minute meeting with the Prime Minister instead of a lengthy review meeting. She was upset that her former colleague and BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari was also invited to the meeting. The meeting was convened at Kalaikunda Air Base to review the damage caused by ‘Yas’ storm.
Alapan started work as advisor to CM
Amid the ongoing tussle between the Center and the state, the bureaucrat decided to take retirement instead of reporting in Delhi. Soon after, he was appointed Chief Advisor to the Chief Minister. After this, the Union Home Ministry issued a show cause notice to Bandyopadhyay under the stringent provision of the Disaster Management Act, under which there is a provision of imprisonment up to two years. A Union Home Ministry official said that a few hours before the Chief Minister announced his retirement on May 31, Alapan was issued a notice under the Disaster Management Act 2005. Bandopadhyay has started working as Chief Advisor. He participated in the meeting of the Irrigation Department held on Wednesday under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister.
Central government taking retaliation: TMC
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress youth wing president Abhishek Banerjee on Wednesday alleged that the BJP government’s move against Alapan at the Center reflects the saffron party’s vengeful attitude towards West Bengal. He claimed that if action is taken against the former chief secretary under the DMA, then the same law should be invoked against the prime minister for holding big election rallies when “COVID-19 cases were on the rise” in the state.