West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee writes to PM Modi, refuses to release chief secretary – Economic Times

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote in a letter on Monday to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that her government cannot release Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay at this “critical hour”, where the state is ravaged by Cyclone Yaas and COVID 19 pandemic.

Mamata Banerjee wrote in a letter to PM Modi that the government of Bengal “cannot release” the Chief Secretary, and “is not releasing, its Chief Secretary at this critical hour”, in view of its earlier extension.

The letter comes on the day Bandopadhyay was scheduled to join North Block at 10 am, the last day of his retirement. Bandopadhyay has recently received an extension for three months, following Mamata Banerjee’s request to the Centre.

Mamata Banerjee has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that she is “shocked and stunned” by the “unilateral order” which asked Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay to report to the Centre.

She also mentioned in the letter that the “unilateral” decision was taken “without prior consultation to the state government” and “without any option of the officer”.

“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,” the Chief Minister wrote in a five-page long letter.

On Friday night, a letter undersigned by Anshuman Mishra, under-secretary at the Union ministry of personnel, public grievances and pension, recalled the Bengal Chief Secretary. “I am directed to inform that the appointments committee of the Cabinet has approved the placement of the services of Sri Alapan Bandopadhyay, IAS, (WB:1987) with the Government of India as provisions of Rule 6(1) of the Indian Administrative Service (Cadre) Rules, 1954, with immediate effect,” Mishra’s letter read.

The Centre’s order came in hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar were kept waiting for 30 minutes at Kalaikunda for the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary, who reached late to hand him the Cyclone Yaas related reports on Friday.

Mamata, in her letter, also clarified the Kalaikunda episode in details and urged the “PM to earnest federal co-operation in these grim times”.

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