Kolkata: West Bengal will not send its top civil servant to Delhi as the state needs him to manage the Covid-19 crisis, said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay was to report to Delhi at 10 am. He was ordered to move to Delhi after Banerjee skipped a meeting with Modi on Friday, sparking another round of confrontation with the central government.
“The government of Bengal cannot release, and is not releasing, its Chief Secretary at this critical hour, on the basis of our understanding that the earlier order of extension, issued after lawful consultation in accordance with applicable laws, remains operational and valid,” Banerjee said the letter, according to NDTV.com.
The order is “legally untenable, historically unprecedented and wholly unconstitutional,” Banerjee said.
The Centre had on May 28 night sought Bandyopadhyay’s services and asked the state government to immediately release him, news agency PTI reported.
Bandyopadhyay, a 1987-batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre, was to retire on Monday on turning 60. The Hindustan Times reports the central government may now take disciplinary action against Bandyopadhyay.