Bandyopadhyay: Didn’t ‘abstain’ from PM’s meeting

KOLKATA: Former Bengal secretary general Alapan Bandyopadhyay wrote to the Union’s Home Affairs Department on Thursday, denying that he had “stopped” at a hurricane review meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28 in Kalaikunda. Bandyopadhyay, now CM’s senior adviser to Mamata Banerjee, said he attended the meeting and left the instructions of Mamata – who used to “report” to him as the country’s secretary general – to conduct and direct storm review meetings in East Midnapore.
The new secretary, H K Dwivedi, wrote a separate letter to the department of labor and training, stating that Bandyopadhyay retired on Monday – before the second government letter instructed him to move to the North Block of Delhi. He had chosen not to accept the three-month extension given to him on May 24 before receiving a second letter, Dwivedi’s letter was mentioned. “Both responses have been sent,” confirmed a senior government official.
The union’s Home Affairs Department issued a notice to Bandyopadhyay on Monday, asking him to explain why no action should be taken under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, for not attending the Prime Minister’s review meeting on May 28. The government insisted that both the CM and the former secretary general have brief communication. and the Prime Minister and left after seeking his consent, a point denied by the Institute.
Mamata, in turn, wrote a five-page letter to Prime Minister Modi on Monday, saying it would be unfortunate if the institution’s “revenge and illegal” measures were against Bandyopadhyay as part of its “political vendetta against Bengal after Bengal voters’ rejection of rallies”. Banerjee on Wednesday said Bandyopadhyay enjoyed “full support … of the Bengali government … in whatever happens to him”.
A statement from the Center to Bandyopadhyay on Monday said “the Prime Minister and other members of his army” have been waiting 15 minutes for state officials to arrive. The CM and its former secretary general arrived at the call and left “immediately”. By avoiding a meeting called by Modi, who is also the Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, Bandyopadhyay “refused to follow the official guidelines of the central government” and violated parts of the law, the notice said.
Top officials in Bengal, however, disputed this, saying Yaas could not be declared a “disaster” at the time and – even according to the Center’s announcement – Bandyopadhyay did not skip the Prime Minister’s review meeting. Besides, several people who were not part of the NDMA were invited to the meeting, too, arguing.

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