Mamata Banerjee is still going strong, refusing to bow to pressure from the ruling regime, governing her state on her own terms. The latest instance of her defiance comes in the form of her letter in connection with the order issued to West Bengal Chief Secretary Alalpan Bandyopadhyay. On May 28, the Centre had passed and order asking Alapan Bandyopadhyay to report to Delhi on May 31 by 10 A.M.
That deadline has come and gone. Here’s a copy of the May 28 order:
The timing of the order was interesting given how Bandyopadhyay was all set to retire on May 31, but was given a three-month extension by the Centre on May 24 at the request of the state government. It is believed that calling Bandyopadhyay to Delhi was a move by Delhi to chastise Banerjee for raising objections to the presence of a local BJP MLA at a meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kalaikunda.
Bandyopadhyay himself did not react to the sudden order to report to North Block as he was engaged in relief activities related to Cyclone Yaas. But West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has now written to the Prime Minister saying that she was “shocked and stunned by the unilateral order” of May 28, and that the order “came without any prior consultation with the Government of West Bengal”.
Banerjee said, “The unilateral order / directive is legally untenable, historically unprecedented and wholly unconstitutional.”
Banerjee highlighted how her state was not only dealing with a deadly second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, but was also recently ravaged by Cyclone Yaas.
Then true to her style of never mincing words, Banerjee wrote, “I really and sincerely hope that this latest order is not related to my meeting with you at Kalaikunda. If that be the reason, it would be sad, unfortunate and would amount to sacrificing public interest at the altar of misplaced priorities.”
The entire letter by Mamata Banerjee to PM Modi may be read here: