Irrespective of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s stance and conduct, the state’s then Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay mustn’t have acted the best way he did on May 28, authorities sources mentioned as we speak. The reference was to her leaving in haste a gathering with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accompanied by the senior IAS officer who, too, didn’t make a scheduled presentation on Cyclone Yaas.
Earlier, the duo had arrived late for that assembly to overview the extent of injury and loss brought about to the state by the storm.
“Was Alapan Bandyopadhyay’s conduct and behaviour appropriate of the position he held? As senior most civil servant of the state how should he have behaved?” the federal government sources requested.
“Did he take a rational and judicious view and decision on the spot or was he completely left himself to the whims of chief minister so that his post-retiral could be handsomely rewarding?” they requested.
Following such public demonstration of the frayed ties between the state and the Union authorities, the 1987 batch IAS officer was requested, on the identical night of his truncated assembly with PM Modi, to report for Central duty — a transfer perceived by many as a reprimand, given the circumstances.
The Centre got here below extreme criticism for such abrupt switch, with a number of former bureaucrats backing the West Bengal Chief Secretary.
However, as a substitute of following the Centre’s order, Mr Bandyopadhyay retired as Chief Secretary on May 31. He was instantly appointed Chief Adviser to the West Bengal authorities.
Meanwhile, a show-cause notice was issued to him for his absence from the Cyclone Yaas overview meet.
“A chief secretary can’t be working like personal staff of Chief Minister, no matter howsoever senior…He is Chief Secretary to the state, not to the Chief Minister,” the federal government sources mentioned.
They hinted that if Central authorities officers in numerous departments refused to attend conferences known as by the Chief Secretary, like Mr Bandyopadhyay did, it might quantity to institutional breakdown of India’s federal construction.
“Would that not lead to anarchy? Alapan Bandyopadhyay’s conduct on May 28 has made a severe dent to IAS, the supposed ‘steel frame’ of India as devised by Sardar Patel,” the sources mentioned.