West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today claimed that Alapan Bandyopadhyay is a closed chapter now, but asserted that her administration will stand by the former chief secretary of the state on the row over his not joining the central government.
"Alapan Bandyopadhyay chapter is over now. The West Bengal government will give full support to Alapan Bandyopadhyay in whatever is going around with him," Mamata Banerjee told reporters when asked about her government's stance on the issue.
Alapan Bandopadhyay was set to retire on May 31, but Bengal sought and received permission to extend his tenure by three more months as he played a crucial role in the state's fight against the Covid pandemic.
He was, however, handed over a transfer directive by the Centre on Friday, shortly after a row broke out over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's post-cyclone review meeting, which Mamata Banerjee and the state chief secretary did not attend.
The bureaucrat, instead of reporting to Delhi, chose to retire amid the Centre-state tussle. He was subsequently appointed as the chief adviser to the Bengal Chief Minister.
The Union Home Ministry has served a show-cause notice on Alapan Bandyopadhyay under a stringent provision of the Disaster Management Act that entails imprisonment up to two years, amid a tug-of-war between the Centre and the Mamata Banerjee government over him.
Alapan Bandyopadhyay has already started working as the chief adviser and was present at Wednesday's meeting of the state Irrigation department presided over by Mamata Banerjee.