The prime minister also said the JMM and Congress have treated the tribals as vote banks only.
Former state chief secretary and chief minister’s adviser Alapan Bandopadhyay has landed in fresh trouble with the Centre proposing to hold ‘major penalty proceedings’ against him. It has sought his response within 30 days, failing which the inquiring authority may hold the inquiry against him ex-parte.
Earlier, the Centre had served a show-cause notice to Mr Bandopadhyay under the Disaster Management Act, which entails imprisonment up to two years, to explain his absence from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting at Kalaikunda on 28 May. Mr Bandopadhyay had replied that he had to leave for a review of the cyclone-hit areas of Digha on orders from chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
However, dissatisfied at Mr Bandopadhyay’s reply, the Centre has issued a memorandum today wherein it has proposed to hold major penalty proceedings against him.
The action has been proposed under Rule 8 of the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules 1989 and Rule 6 of the All India Services (Death-cum-Retirement Benefits) Rules 1958. Mr Bandopadhyay has been directed to submit a written statement of his defence and also state whether he desires to be heard in person.
“Mr Alapan Bandopadhyay is informed that an inquiry will be held only in respect of the Article of Charge as is not admitted. He should, therefore, specifically admit or deny the Article of Charge,” read the memorandum issued by the Ministry of Personnel and Public Grievances and Pensions (Department of Personnel and Training) today. He has further been informed that if he does not submit his written statement of defence before the prescribed date or appear in person before the inquiring authority or refuses to comply with the directions then the inquiring authority may hold the inquiry against him ex-parte.
Mr Bandyopadhyay, a 1987-batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre, was set to retire as the chief secretary on 31 May but the state had sought and received permission for extension of his tenure for three months as he played a crucial role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. He was, however, sent a directive to report to North Bloc in Delhi by the Centre, shortly after a row broke out over the Prime Minister’s post-cyclone review meeting with Miss Banerjee.
The bureaucrat, instead of reporting to Delhi, chose to retire and was subsequently appointed as the CM’s chief adviser.