Covid, Yaas meetings on West Bengal chief secretary’s Monday schedule at Nabanna | Kolkata News

KOLKATA: Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay is likely to attend several meetings at Nabanna on Monday on cyclone relief and Covid. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to chair the cyclone relief meeting in which Bandyopadhyay, along with other state secretaries, are expected to attend.
The Centre had asked Bandyopadhyay to report at the North Block by 10 am on Monday. At 10.30 am, the chief secretary also has a scheduled video-conference from Nabanna on the ‘Duare Tran (relief at your doorstep)’ project, which will kick off on June 3.
Bandyopadhyay reached Nabanna on Sunday evening and spent several hours in his chamber. He drove in at 4.50 pm and left at 7.45 pm.
CM Banerjee had on Saturday appealed to the Centre “to please withdraw this letter and allow the chief secretary to work for Covid- and cyclone-affected people. We are working as a team. Allow us to work.” The Centre, sources said, has not responded to it.
On Friday, a letter from the ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions reached Nabanna recalling the chief secretary, asking the state government to “relieve Bandyopadhyay with immediate effect” and directed him to report to New Delhi on Monday.
On May 24, the Centre had approved a state government request to grant Bandyopadhyay a three-month extension as chief secretary for his role in Covid management and cyclone relief and reconstruction.
The Bengal government has not released Bandyopadhyay. Like the ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions, which is headed by the PM, CM Banerjee heads the personnel and administrative reforms department in Bengal.
On Saturday, Mamata Banerjee had referred that the Centre had filed caveats in the Calcutta high court and Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), dubbing them as “one-sided”. According to sources, the Bengal government was taking legal opinion on this matter.
The central letter cited rule 6(I) of Indian Administrative Service (cadre) rules, 1954, which says, among others, that “provided that in case of any disagreement, the matter shall be decided by the central government and the state government will give effect to the decision of the central government”.
Former chief secretary Basudeb Banerjee felt this order was “illegal”. “A rule can’t be interpreted in a piecemeal basis. The first part of the rule mentions that state and the Centre must concur to such a deputation. Should it fail the second part applies. Was any such attempt made by the Centre? Also was his extension as chief secretary for three months cancelled before this recall order was issued?” he argued.
It was still not clear till the filing of this report whether Bandyopadhyay, or the additional chief secretary, department of personnel and administrative reforms, Bengal had written to the Centre on the transfer issue. “A formal intimation is likely,” a senior officer said, refusing to elaborate and give a timeline.

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