Kolkata: In another twist in the tale in the Centre vs West Bengal government tussle, the state’s Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay refused to join the central deputation and retired on Monday.
On May 28, the Centre had ordered the Bandopadhyay to report to North Block in the national capital on May 31 – barely four days after approving his extension for three months on the state government’s request. The letter had also asked the state government to relieve him of his duties with immediate effect.
However, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and stated that the state is unable to release him at this point in time because he would be supervising post-Cyclone Yaas and COVID-19 management. Hence, the CM requested the Centre’s to withdraw the order.
The Centre wrote back ruling out the possibility of withdrawal, and the chief secretary would have to report to Delhi on Tuesday.
“We just got a letter from IAS cadre rules… GoI has asked Alapan to join tomorrow. The purpose of extension of service is not served,” Mamata said at a press conference here on Monday.
“This is unconstitutional, we won’t accept this and let Alapan go,” Mamata said, adding that the IAS officer would now do the duty of the chief minister’s personal advisor.
“It’s nothing but political vendetta… haven’t seen such a Prime Minister before,” the West Bengal CM fumed.
Meanwhile, she announced that Harikrishna Dwivedi will be the state’s new chief secretary.