Order to Recall Chief Secy ‘Unconstitutional’, Won’t Release Him, Mamata Tells PM Modi

In a long letter written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she was “shocked and stunned” by the “unilateral order” asking Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay to report to the Centre.

“The government of 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,” Banerjee wrote.

Indian Express reported that the West Bengal government has decided not to send Bandyopadhyay on central deputation May 31, the day of his retirement.

Bandyopadhyay was to report to Delhi at 10 am but Banerjee in the letter said he will stay and continue to manage her state’s Covid crisis.

The Chief Secretary was ordered to move to the Centre after a row over Mamata Banerjee not attending a meeting with PM Modi on Friday.

The Centre’s order, issued by Ministry of Personnel, said, “The appointments committee of the cabinet has approved the placement of the services of Shri Alpan Bandyopadhyay (IAS WB:1987) with the Government of India, as per provisions of rule 6(1) of the Indian Administrative Service (cadre) rules, 1954 , with immediate effect.”

The order called for the state government to immediately relieve the chief secretary of his duties in the state. The Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) order asks Bandyopadhyay to report by 10 am on May 31.

Bandyopadhyay was given a three-month extension till August 31. He was due for retirement on May 31. The extension was proposed by the West Bengal government and approved by the union government on May24.

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