Kolkata: The Central government’s decision to recall West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay to the national capital failed to please a section of the West Bengal BJP unit.
The sequence of events that led to Bandyopadhyay’s superannuation on Monday is enough proof of the ever-widening rift between the central and state leaders of the saffron brigade.
“There is no doubt that Alapan babu is a decorated and able officer. What is being done to him is tantamount to harassment and citizens of the state aren’t taking it well,” a BJP state office-bearer was quoted as saying by The Telegraph, Kolkata.
“If the central leadership had discussed with us before going all out against Alapanbabu, we would have advised against it,” the source further said.
Several other leaders were also of the opinion that “leaders in Delhi” were oblivious of the ground reality existing in West Bengal. According to several saffron party leaders, the top flight of the BJP refuses to learn from the poll debacle.
“The common Bengali isn’t happy with Alapanbabu being harassed. Neither is a major section of our own leaders. But Delhiwallahs refuse to accept that,” a state unit leader of the BJP’s women wing said.
The leader also reminded that the fuss over Bandyopadhyay’s recall had obliquely helped West Bengal chief minister establish that BJP was unaware of the reality in West Bengal.
“Bengal might not have another Bengali chief secretary in a long time. Our leaders just proved Mamatadi right once again,” the leader said.
However, Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh accused the journalists of blowing the issue out of proportion. “The government has failed to perform its duties during the cyclone…victims of post-poll violence have not returned home…The media is trying to deviate from these issues by focusing on Alapan,” Ghosh told The Telegraph.
It may be recalled that Bandyopadhyay was served a notice by the Centre for skipping a meeting chaired by the PM Narendra Modi.
Bandyopadhyay retired on Monday as West Bengal’s Chief Secretary and was appointed Chief Adviser by CM Mamata Banerjee with immediate effect. Mamata had refused to release him after the Centre ordered his transfer on Friday.
A show-cause notice sent last evening asked the IAS officer to explain his absence from PM Modi’s meeting on Cyclone Yaas in West Bengal. The notice has been served under the Disaster Management Act and directed Bandopadhyay to reply in three days’ time.