Gujarat Exclusive > National-World > West Bengal chief secretary retires amid tussle with Centre, to work as Mamata’s chief advisor

West Bengal chief secretary retires amid tussle with Centre, to work as Mamata’s chief advisor

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As the tussle with the Centre over chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay aggravates, Mamata Banerjee on Monday evening surprised everyone when she announced that Bandyopadhyay has retired on Monday. If that was not enough, she immediately added that the bureaucrat will be working as the chief advisor to the CM for the next three years.

Mamata has lashed out at the Centre earlier during the day for directing Bandyopadhyay to report to Delhi without consulting the state government. She wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the same clarifying that the Bengal government will not release the chief secretary at this critical hour. She had said that she was “shocked and stunned” by the “unilateral order” passed by the Centre.

The tussle

The tussle started after Mamata Banerjee did not attend a review meeting for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in the state. She made the PM and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar wait for 30 minutes for her. Although she arrived, she handed over some documents to the PM and left saying she has other meetings to attend.

Mamata’s actions resulted in a major embarrassment for PM Modi and the BJP, which lost the recently concluded state elections in Bengal. Soon after the incident, the Centre issued a notice recalling Bandyopadhyay to Delhi.

Hari Krishna Dwivedi made chief secretary

With Alapan Bandyopadhyay’s retirement, 1988 batch IAS officer Hari Krishna Dwivedi has been made the new chief secretary. Dwivedi, who had earlier worked as the principal secretary of the finance department, was promoted to the rank of additional chief secretary in January 2018.

Also Read: Bengal: Mamata refuses to release chief secretary despite Centre’s “unilateral” order 

The bureaucrat was posted as an additional chief secretary of the home and hill affair department in October 2020.

New role for Alapan Bandyopadhyay

After retiring on Monday, the 1987 batch IAS officer will start working as the chief advisor to the chief minister from Tuesday onwards. He has been appointed for a period of three years.

Justifying his appointment, Mamata Banerjee said, “Alapan Bandyopadhyay will join as the chief advisor to the CM from tomorrow. We want his services for the pandemic. Everybody knows how he worked and that is why we are safe today. He must continue his service to Bengal and the country.”

Notably, the bureaucrat has come to be known as the face of Bengal’s fight against the deadly viral pandemic.

 

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