Disciplinary Proceedings Initiated against Ex-Chief Secy: CM backs Alapan, says Centre victimising him

Addressing a press conference at state secretariat Nabanna, the CM pledged the full weight of her administration behind the former bureaucrat, even praising him as an honest and upright officer.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday reiterated her support to former chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, claiming that he was being victimised by the Centre.

Addressing a press conference at state secretariat Nabanna, the CM pledged the full weight of her administration behind the former bureaucrat, even praising him as an honest and upright officer.

She said Bandyopadhyay is competent enough to take decisions as per his convenience and will have her government’s support every step of the way.

“Alapan Bandyopadhyay is an honest officer and competent person. He is totally authorised to take action as per his convenience and our government will support him. The central government is victimising an upright officer,” Mamata said. Bandyopadhyay has been at the centre of a continuing tussle between the state government and the Centre from the time he skipped a cyclone review meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The day before he was to retire from service, the Union government sent him a deputation order, asking him to report to Delhi. However, the state refused to release him for central deputation and he was made the chief advisor to the CM after formally resigning from service.

However, the issue continued to simmer as the Centre sent him a show-cause notice, asking him to explain his absence at the review meeting in 30 days or face disciplinary action.

On Tuesday, the ruling Trinamool Congress accused the Centre of trying to disturb the functioning of the West Bengal government by initiating disciplinary proceedings against Bandyopadhyay.

Keeping up the attack on the Centre, the CM said on Wednesday, “The central government is acting like a selfish giant and pulling out all stops to create an atmosphere of fear in the state.”

The Trinamool had earlier claimed that petulance had become part of state policy of the Central government and the action against Bandyopadhyay amounted to opening a chapter in Centre-state conflicts.

The BJP denied the charges as “baseless” and accused TMC of politicising the bureaucracy. “The BJP has resorted to disturb the functional affairs of the government of West Bengal to further its political agenda after its humiliating defeat in the election. It is the prime minister who sits at the helm of the DoPT, and there’s no point in guessing that this is nothing but personal rage, which is desperately finding a venting point to roar,” senior TMC MP and party spokesperson Sougata Roy said. The statement came days after the Centre initiated major penalty proceedings against Bandyopadhyay, which may deprive him of post-retirement benefits, partially or fully.

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