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Govt orders West Bengal to relieve Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay for posting at Centre

The union government on Friday ordered West Bengal to relieve Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay for further posting at Centre. The move came hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's review meeting on damage caused by cyclone Yaas which was skipped by chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: May 29, 2021 0:03 IST
PM Modi Mamata Banerjee
Image Source : PTI

File photo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata.

The union government on Friday ordered West Bengal to relieve Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay for further posting at Centre. The move came hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's review meeting on damage caused by cyclone Yaas which was skipped by chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

In its order, the DoPT said, "Approved the placement of Alapan Bandyopadhyay (West Bengal Chief Secretary) with the Government of India. Accordingly, the State Govt is requested to relieve him with immediate effect and direct him to report to the Dept of Personnel & Training (DoPT), Delhi by 31st May."

ALSO READMamata arrives late for Cyclone Yaas review meet with PM Modi, leaves after handing over documents

Bandyopadhyay, a 1987-batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre, was scheduled to retire on May 31 after completion of 60 years of age. However, he was granted a three-month extension following a nod from the Centre.

Mamata Banerjee had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 12, urging him to grant Bandyopadhyay an extension for at least six months in view of his experience of handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a communique to the state government, the Personnel Ministry on Friday said the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the placement of the services of Bandyopadhyay with Government of India as per provisions of the Indian Administrative Service (cadre) Rules, 1954, "with immediate effect".

While asking the state government to relieve the officer with immediate effect, it also directed Bandyopadhyay to report to the Department of Personnel and Training, North Block, New Delhi by 10 am on May 31.

The IAS cadre rule says a cadre officer may, with the concurrence of the state governments concerned and the central government, be deputed for service under the central government or another state government.

"Provided that in case of any disagreement, the matter shall be decided by the central government and the state government or state governments concerned shall give effect to the decision of the central government," it says.

Bandyopadhyay took over as the chief secretary of West Bengal after Rajiva Sinha retired in September last year.

Earlier in the day in a surprise development, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee skipped a review meeting conducted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Kalaikunda Air Force Station near Kharagpur to assess the damages caused by severe cyclonic storm Yaas that hit the state on Wednesday.

The review meeting snowballed into a political controversy after Banerjee personally met the Prime Minister before the meeting and submitted a copy of the damages caused by the cyclone to him. She even left the Air Force Station before the meeting commenced.

Sources in the administration confirmed that Banerjee had asked for a separate meeting with Modi ahead of the review meeting convened by the Prime Minister.

Accordingly, a slot of 15 minutes was allotted during which Banerjee submitted a detailed report of the damages caused by the storm, mainly in three districts, to Modi.

Though there has been no official briefing on the meeting between the two leaders so far, sources close to the Chief Minister confirmed that the state government has submitted in the report that Bengal incurred damage to the tune of Rs 15,000 crore due to the severe cyclonic storm.

According to the state government officials, three districts faced the brunt of the cyclone the most -- South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas and East Midnapore.

Digha, Shakarpur and Mandarman -- the three major tourist hubs of the state -- were the worst affected by the storm.

In the 15-minute meeting, Banerjee briefed the Prime Minister about the damages caused to the agricultural fields, residential buildings, embankments and roads.

(With IANS inputs)

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