For long, the BJP has accused Mamata of misusing officials and they believe strong action against Bandyopadhyay would send a message to other bureaucrats.
Alapan Bandyopadhyay courted trouble when he skipped a Cyclone Yaas review meeting conducted by PM Modi. (PTI photo)
The controversy over former West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay seems to be dying down. One of Mamata Banerjee’s blue-eyed boys, Bandyopadhyay courted trouble when he skipped a Cyclone Yaas review meeting conducted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The bureaucrat was asked to report to Delhi, but he put in his papers and was promptly appointed as advisor to Mamata. He, however, replied to the Centre’s show-cause notice. In a two-and-a-half-page response, Bandyopadhyay courtly explained his position.
He said in his long career as a bureaucrat, he never disobeyed or disrespected the Prime Minister’s Office or any other authority. His brother died recently and there was a ritual on May 28, the day of the meeting. Bandyopadhyay said he tried to attend the meeting only because it was conducted by the PM.
Nabanna was expecting Modi to meet Mamata before the meeting. Bandyopadhyay said he tried to be present at Kalaikunda airport to receive the PM but couldn’t do so. He then reached the talks, and on Mamata’s instructions, left after meeting him. The seasoned bureaucrat explained that the cycle of events was neither desirable nor purposeful. Seeking forgiveness, he said it is not proper to invoke disciplinary action under the disaster management act against a retired bureaucrat.
Some Bengal BJP leaders such as Suvendu Adhikari believe strong action against Bandyopadhyay would send a message to other bureaucrats. For long, the BJP has accused Mamata of misusing officials and they feel the Centre must take steps to keep the state government under pressure. They also feel it is imperative that in future, such politics do not take precedence over public affairs.
However, high-placed sources said the Centre is not keen to pursue action against Bandyopadhyay, who has so far refrained from publicly commenting on either the show-cause notice or his response. It might just let him go with some stern words, and a warning to the state that in future, protocol must be maintained at all costs.