Kolkata, May 29 : In a significant development, West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay, who got a three-month extension of service just four days back, was recalled by the Centre on Friday for placement of his service with the government of India.
The order for Central deputation came hours after Bandyopadhyay met Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the Kalaikunda air base near Kharagpur on Friday afternoon to apprise the Prime Minister about the damages caused by cyclone Yaas.
The 1987-cadre IAS officer, who is considered to be close to Banerjee, had got an extension of his tenure on the request of the state government.
On Friday evening, the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievance and Pensions wrote in a letter to Bandopadhyay, “I am directed to inform that the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the placement of the services of Shri Alapan Bandyopadhyay, AS (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.”
“Accordingly, the state government is requested to relieve the officer with immediate effect and direct him to report to the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT), North Block, New Delhi, by 10 am on May 31, 2021,” the letter said.
Earlier in a notification issued on May 24 from state secretariat Nabanna, the West Bengal government had asked for a three-month extension of service of Bandyopadhyay. Accordingly, Bandyopadhyay’s tenure was extended as the Chief Secretary by the government of India on the May 24, just four days before the new order, which came on Friday.
Though Bandopadhyay has refused to comment on the issue, sources close to the Chief Minister said that Banerjee is not happy with the development and indications are ripe that Bandopadhyay might not be released by the state.
Trinamool Congress leader Sukhendu Sekhar Ray said, “Has this ever happened since Independence? Forced central deputation of the Chief Secretary of a state? How much lower will Modi-Shah’s BJP stoop to? All because people of Bengal humiliated the duo and chose Mamata Banerjee with an overwhelming mandate.”