Former Slam Center bureaucrats’ unilateral decision to transfer Bengal leader Secy
Calcutta / New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay retired on Monday afternoon amid the continuing struggle between the center and the state. He was immediately appointed senior advisor to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for a period of three years.
The dramatic development came after the Department of Personal Training (DoPT) controversially recalled that the senior official was in the North Block on Monday morning after approving a three-month extension of his tenure.
Given Bandyopadhyay’s role in the state’s handling of COVID-19 and an emerging crisis due to the destruction caused by Cyclone Yaas in many districts of Bengal, the Center had approved the state government’s request. to extend Bandyopadhyay’s tenure, which was due to end in May. 31.
However, in an unprecedented move, the DoPT invoked Rule 6 (1) of the IAS Rules (Framework), 1954 to remind Delhi after Banerjee and Bandyopadhyay skipped a scheduled meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. and other Union ministers on May 28 to attend. another meeting of the state government. Since then, the Center and the state have both shaken hands.
Banerjee had earlier announced that despite the DoPT’s order, the state government would not release Bandyopadhyay. She wrote a five-page letter to the Prime Minister, refusing to comply with the Center’s order. “The Government of Bengal cannot, and will not release, its Chief Secretary at this critical time, based on our understanding that the previous extension order, issued after legal consultation in accordance with applicable laws, remains operational and valid, “the letter said.
When Harikrishna Dwiwedi was appointed as new chief secretary on Monday, Banerjee announced that Bandyopadhyay had already tendered his resignation to the Center and would now take up his duties as senior advisor.
“It’s the vendetta. I have never seen such cruel behavior. Just because they want to attack the chief minister, they attack the chief secretary. The Center may not know that he has retired and that his services are not available to the Center. I decided we needed his service for the Covid pandemic. For Covid and for Cyclone Yaas, it must continue to serve the poor, the State, the country, the people affected… ”declared the Chief Minister to journalists at the Secretary of State.
Asked whether the Center was trying to send a strong message to the bureaucracy, Banerjee replied, “They (the Center) suffer from insecurity. A bureaucrat is insulted after dedicating his life to his job, what message are the government and the PM sending? They (center) think bureaucrats have to do whatever they are told. Now there must be an end of tolerance. It’s too much. My full solidarity with the bureaucracy. You want to scare off the bureaucracy. We are not afraid. I’m not afraid of you. Those who are afraid collapse. We fight and we win.
On why she skipped the Cyclone Yass review meeting at the Kalaikunda of West Medinipur with the prime minister, the chief minister said she had already met him and handed him her 20-year relief request. 000 crore rupees. “I couldn’t stay at the meeting because of the state administrative review meeting in Digha,” Banerjee told media.
Former bureaucrats attack Center for unilateral decision-making
Bandyopadhyay, who had to retire in such a dire situation, has received massive support from various retired career bureaucrats, who view the Centre’s about-face as disastrous for the confidence of the Indian bureaucracy.
Talk to ThreadFormer cabinet secretary BK Chaturvedi said that while in such cases the Centre’s decision wins, the rules also make it clear that the Center cannot take such a step without consulting the state government. “The Indian government should consult the state government – sometimes multiple times – before making such a decision. In this case, it appears that there was no consultation at all. The Centre’s point of view will prevail, but the consultation process must first be completed. This is the most important thing, ”he said.
“It seems strange and rather inappropriate for the Center to first approve the extension of Bandyopadhyay and then recall it within a few days,” he said. He added that although the Central Administrative Court could confirm the Centre’s point of view if Bandyopadhyay decided to appeal, the way in which the Union government took a unilateral decision in this case was “indefensible”.
Former head of Prasar Bharati Jawhar Sircar said Thread that the May 28 ordinance sent by the Center was “full of inconsistencies”.
“First of all, he cannot issue a unilateral order against an IAS agent who is not under his control, but under another government within the federation. The second striking feature is that it is really not a display order because it does not mention at which post the CS of that state was posted. This is more of an intimation than a formal order and he asks the state government to release him, ”he said.
“The central government cannot force IAS or IPS officers to join a central assignment in Delhi against their will, without their written ‘option’ or their supervisory authority for cadres, the state government , giving him the prior authorization to ‘opt’ for the Center. Sircar added.
Asked about the precedent set by the ongoing controversy, Sircar said, “In the long run, this will definitely have an impact on bureaucracy. But in addition, it is an exercise with a combination of absolute arrogance and stupidity. The position of the Center had no basis.
Former NC Saxena Planning Commission member said Thread that the Centre’s unilateral decision reflected growing authoritarianism and centralization in India. “At first glance, the decision seems vindictive. There was no consultation at all, ”he said.
“Our country is facing a crisis in the sense that authoritarianism, majoritarianism and centralization are developing in this regime. Previously, officials searched for vacancies in the Government of India. Being at the Center was considered better than serving the States. But now all of that is gradually changing because there is an environment of fear in New Delhi.
Speaking to a regional news channel, Ardhendu Sen, former chief secretary of West Bengal, stressed the lack of reason for the Centre’s decision to recall Bandyopadhyay, alluding to possible political retribution. “I heard that the Center notified Alapan Bandhopadhyay as to why he did not show up in Delhi on May 31st. However, none of the letters the Center sent to the Chief Secretary provided any explanation as to why he was recalled to Delhi. . I agree with the CM’s decision to appoint him as chief advisor, the state administration can use its experience in these difficult times.
On the issue of further escalation and the legal battle, Sen said, “I don’t think there will be any legal issues. He will join as an adviser to the state government, which is entirely under the jurisdiction of the state. Nobody has locus standi here.”
However, the controversy is unlikely to end anytime soon. NDTV Central government sources reported that Bandyopadhyay may soon face action for defying orders from the Center. The Center has been trying to tighten the grip on state government since the ruling BJP party became the state’s main opposition. His attacks have escalated since he lost the recent assembly elections by a huge margin.
Although the grabbing of the chief secretary drew a lot of attention, the Center had taken similar action against other bureaucrats in the run-up to the Assembly elections. On December 12, the Union Home Office recalled three IPS officers: Diamond Harbor Police Superintendent (SP) Bholanath Pandey, Bengal Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) of the South, Rajeev Mishra, and the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG). , Presidency Range, Praveen Tripathi – for the Central Deputy of West Bengal. He then held the three IPS officers responsible for the alleged security breaches during the rally of BJP president JP Nadda in the South 24 Parganas district of Bengal. The Banerjee administration even then refused to release one of the three IPS officers. However, the Center did not pursue the case.