The Ministry of Home Affairs had on May 31 issued a show-cause notice to retired West Bengal Chief Secretary and now Chief Advisor to the Chief Minister of Bengal, Alapan Bandyopadhyay, demanding his explanation for reporting fifteen minutes late to the review meeting for cyclone Yaas and then leaving immediately. After Bandyopadhyay had skipped the meeting, the centre had recalled him to report in New Delhi despite having extending his tenure by three months at the request of the state government only a few days earlier. The state government had then refused to release Bandyopadhyay and he subsequently retired on May 31.
As per Chief Minister Mamata Banerje, she, alongwith Bandyopadhyay had interacted with the Prime Minister, submitted two reports and had left with due permission from the Prime Minister. Leader of Opposition and TMC turncoat Suvendu Adhikari was also present at the meeting which the Chief Minister didn’t seem to appreciate.
The notice to Bandyopadhyay was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) under the Disaster Management Act on May 31 and he was given three days until Thursday to respond. It must be noted that the notice issued under the section 51(b) of the Disaster Management Act, if converted to a statutory case, could result in imprisonment up to two years.
Now, in his reply to the notice issued, Bandyopadhyay has explained that he was scheduled to visit the cyclone-affected areas and was following the Chief Minister's order. He added that they had left the meeting with PM Modi’s permission. He further wrote that after skipping the review meeting, he had visited the cyclone-affected areas and had also attended an administrative meeting in Digha.
The newly appointed Chief Secretary Hari Krishna Dwivedi also wrote to the Centre explaining why Bandyopadhyay had reached 15 minutes left for the meeting and had left immediately.
The Home Ministry has received Bandyopadhyay’s reply on Thursday evening and has said that it is studying the reply. The Home Ministry further added that legal opinion will be sought if needed and action will be initiated in due course.