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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Alapan Bandyopadhyay didn’t walk out of Modi’s meet: TMC slams Prasad’s claim

Senior TMC leader and state minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said there was no logic in the central government’s move to recall Bandyopadhyay only five days after extending his term by three months.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
Updated: June 1, 2021 4:52:59 pm
Bengal Chief SecretaryAlapan Bandyopadhyay with H K Dwivedi. (Express Photo by Partha Paul)

The Trinamool Congress on Monday criticised Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for claiming that former state Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay had walked out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cyclone review meeting in Kalaikunda on May 28.

Senior TMC leader and state minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said there was no logic in the central government’s move to recall Bandyopadhyay only five days after extending his term by three months.

“A Union minister today alleged that the chief secretary [CS] had walked out of the meeting. This is totally false. The chief secretary was with the chief minister and he is supposed to report to her. Both the CM and the CS were made to wait for half an hour to meet the PM. Is that fair?” Bhattacharya asked.

She added, “After being forced to walk out of West Bengal by the people of the state in the recent Assembly polls, some central leaders of the BJP are now using the walk-out phrase without understanding its actual meaning.”

Earlier in the day, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray tweeted, “In absence of any proposal from Centre for ‘concurrence’ of the State under Rule6(1) of IAS Cadre Rules,1954, the unilateral order for placement of Chief Secretary of Bengal in Central Service is arbitrary, vexatious and ex facie illegal. This requires to be deprecated, cancelled.”

Earlier in the day, Senior party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, eloquently and comprehensively pointed out the grounds on which the chief secretary should be allowed to continue his work in the state.

“At a time when West Bengal is faced with pincer attacks of cyclone devastation and Covid-19 pandemic, the Centre should not recall the official who is at the helm of the contingency measures. Neither was the state’s views sought nor was it informed before the Centre recalled CS,” Roy told PTI.

He tweeted: “In absence of any proposal from Centre for ‘concurrence’ of the State under Rule 6 (1) of IAS Cadre Rules,1954, the unilateral order for placement of Chief Secretary of Bengal in Central Service is arbitrary, vexatious and ex facie illegal. This requires to be deprecated, cancelled.”

Meanwhile, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Monday refused to comment on the tussle between the Centre and the state over former state Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, who retired during the day, and said it was an administrative decision.

Ghosh told reporters in a virtual press conference, “This was an administrative decision. We on behalf of our party have nothing to say on this. There are instances that state government had sent honest and able government officers to the compulsory waiting list.”

The BJP leader again alleged that people in cyclone-affected areas were being deprived of relief materials.

“In places where the BJP won elections, people are being asked to take relief materials from BJP MLAs. Those who voted for our party are being denied relief. There is also no relief materials in several places. It seems the state government is busy playing politics over other issues ignoring the relief work. The state government is not active in addressing this issue,” he added.

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