Alapan Bandyopdhyay chapter is now closed, says Mamata

Whatever happens, government will extend full support to him, says West Bengal Chief Minister

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said “the Alapan Bandyopdhyay chapter is now closed”. She said the government will continue to extend full support to him.

“No questions on Alapan Bandyopadhyay as the chapter is over now…Alapan has retired. So I do not want to talk about it. Whatever happens, the government will extend full support to him,” she told journalists when asked about the Centre issuing show-cause notice to the former Chief Secretary.

Mr. Bandyopadhyay opted to retire from services on May 31, despite a three-month extension after the Centre issued a notice to him on May 28 and May 31. The Centre has issued the notice to the former bureaucrat under the Disaster Management Act. He was appointed as adviser to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. He was on Wednesday present at the State Secretariat along with senior officials at a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister.

TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee also defended Mr. Bandyopadhyay and said instead of him charges under the Disaster Management Act should be brought against those responsible for the eight-phase polls in West Bengal.

“Those who are bringing charges under the Disaster Management Act are themselves responsible. The Act should be enforced against officials responsible for the elections. It should be applied against the Prime Minister and the [Union] Home Minister and all the political parties including us.” He said because of the eight-phase polls hundreds of people have lost lives due to the spread of the pandemic.

The State BJP leadership continued to target the former Chief Secretary. Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari said Mr. Bandyopadhyay at this moment is nothing but an extension of the TMC. Mr. Adhikari raised questions on several of his administrative decisions including heading a committee probing irregularities in the procurement of medical supplies to deal with COVID-19. “There must be some reason that the Chief Minister wants to protect him,” he said.

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