'Shocked and stunned': Mamata Banerjee refuses to release Chief Secretary, calls Centre's order 'unconstitutional, illegal'
Kolkata | Jagran News Desk: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday refused to release state Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rescind the order asking him to return to Delhi.
In a letter to PM Modi, Banerjee said that she is "shocked and stunned" by the Centre's unilateral order, adding that the West Bengal government will not release the state's Chief Secretary "at this critical hours".
Calling the Centre's order "unconstitutional and illegal", Banerjee said it is against the state's interests, adding that Bandyopadhyay has "suffered personal bereavement recently and yet continues to do his duty".
"Presume earlier order by centre made in consultation with state government extending Chief secretary's tenure for three months from June 1, stands," Mamata said.
"Do not understand what happened between your allowing extension to Chief Secretary on May 24 and your unilateral order 4 days later," she noted.
"I sincerely hope the latest order (transferring CS to Delhi) is not related to my meeting with you at Kalaikunda," she added.
The Centre had on Friday asked the West Bengal government to relieve state Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay. Bandopadhyay was asked to report to Delhi by 10 am on May 31.
Bandyopadhyay, a 1987-batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre, was earlier due to retire on May 31 after completion of 60 years of age. However, he was granted a three-month extension.
Banerjee had on Monday said that he was granted an extension for a period of three months. She had also written to PM 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 communiqué 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 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, North Block, New Delhi by 10 am on May 31, 2021," it said.
Bandyopadhyay took over as the chief secretary of West Bengal after Rajiv Sinha retired in September last year.
(With inputs from PTI)
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma