Kolkata | Jagran News Desk: Former chief secretary of West Bengal Alapan Bandyopadhyay on Thursday replied to the Centre's show-cause notice served to him for skipping Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Yaas review meeting last week and said that he did not "abstain" from meet and he was present there "till Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was there".

In his reply, the West Bengal bureaucrat said that he only left the meeting for a review of cyclone Yaas ravaged Digha "as per the directive of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee".

Bandyopadhyay was served a show-cause notice by the Union Home Ministry under a stringent provision of the Disaster Management Act after he allegedly skipped PM Modi's meet to review the damages caused by cyclone Yaas in West Bengal. 

The Home Ministry accused Bandyopadhay of ignoring his "constitutional duties" and accused him of making PM Modi wait for nearly 15 minutes. "In view of the absence, the Chief Secretary (Mr Bandyopadhay) was called by an official as to whether they wanted to participate in the review meeting or not," it said.

Bandyopadhyay, who was set to retire on May 31, was also asked to report to Delhi by Tuesday. However, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee refused to obey the Centre's order, saying West Bengal cannot allow him to go at a "crucial time" when the state is battling the COVID-19 pandemic and the damages caused by cyclone Yaas.

On Monday, Banerjee also announced that Bandyopadhyay has been appointed as her chief adviser after he chose to retire, adding that she will not allow him to leave Nabanna. "Since Alapan Banerjee has retired today on May 31 from his service, he is not going to join in Delhi," the West Bengal Chief Minister had said at a press conference on Monday.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma