New Delhi: The central government on Tuesday defended its move to summon former West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and has termed its transfer order constitutional, according to sources.
On Tuesday, Alapan was issued a show cause notice from the Ministry of Home Affairs under the Disaster Management Act and sought a reply in three days.
"The order is completely constitutional as the chief secretary is an IAS officer. He chose to neglect his constitutional duties, as a result of which no official of the Government of West Bengal attended the review meeting of the Prime Minister," central government officials said.
PM Modi had to wait for 15 minutes for the officials of the West Bengal government. After this the Chief Secretary and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came and left immediately. Thereafter, Chief Secretary Alapan was asked to report to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), New Delhi. But a day later, he opted to retire from his post as chief secretary and joined the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government as her chief advisor.
The Center then accused Mamata Banerjee of shielding Bandyopadhyay from disciplinary action. It was said on behalf of the government that the retirement of the Chief Secretary shows that Mamata Banerjee is on the back foot. She knows that the facts of the case are against the Chief Secretary and strict disciplinary action can be taken against her, as she is an IAS officer. Mamta knows all this and her retirement is a work done to save her.
Government sources also refuted other allegations made by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that she was not informed about the Prime Minister's meeting on time. Sources also said that the Prime Minister did not allow Mamata Banerjee to leave the meeting, as she had claimed. In fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting in Paschim Medinipur district to take stock of the situation after the cyclone. Mamata Banerjee was to attend the meeting.
However, she arrived 30 minutes late and submitted a report of the damage caused by the impact of Cyclone Yaas. After this she and the Chief Secretary of the state left the meeting.