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West Bengal will not release Chief Secretary, says Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during her visit in the aftermath of Cyclone Yaas, at Digha, on May 29, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The West Bengal government has decided not to release its Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay who was asked by the Centre to report to Delhi on Monday.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday informing about the decision and urged him to rescind the order. Last week the Union government issued an order asking the Chief Secretary to report to the Central government at 10 a.m. on Monday.

Explained | Is the order attaching West Bengal Chief Secretary unprecedented?

The Centre is likely to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Bandyopadhyay, said a senior government official.

“The government of West Bengal cannot release, and is not releasing, its Chief Secretary at this critical hour on the basis of our understanding that the earlier order of extension, issued after lawful consultation in accordance with applicable laws, remains operational and valid. The latest order is also clearly in violation of applicable laws and against public interest: it is in any case ab initio void,” Ms. Banerjee wrote in the letter addressed to the Prime Minister.

“I thus humbly appeal to your conscience and good sense, on the behalf of people of West Bengal, and request you to rescind the latest order,” she added.

“I really and sincerely hope that this latest order is not related to my meeting with you at Kalaikunda. If that be the reason, it would be sad, unfortunate and would amount to sacrificing public interest at the altar of misplaced priorities,” she wrote referring to the incident where she skipped the review meeting on cyclone ‘Yaas’ chaired by the Prime Minister. Mr. Bandyophyay had accompanied the Chief Minister.

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 7:49:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/west-bengal-will-not-release-chief-secretary-says-mamata/article34686273.ece

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