In the major development, West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay today retired from service amid row with the Centre and will now serve as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Chief Advisor. This comes after the Centre issued a show-cause notice to Alapan Bandyopadhyay after he failed to report to the department of personnel, public grievances and pensions (DoPT) in New Delhi today (Monday).
"Since Alapan Bandyopadhyay has retired today on May 31 from his service, he is not going to join in Delhi," Mamata said. "I will not allow Alapan Banerjee to leave Nabanna. He is now the Chief Adviser to Chief Minister," she added.
Earlier in the day, Miss Banerjee wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to withdraw the Centre's order recalling Alapan Bandyopadhyay, and said her government "is not releasing" the top bureaucrat.
Who is Alapan Bandyopadhyay?
Alapan Bandyopadhyay is a 1987-batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre and is known for going by the rule book during his tenure as chief secretary. He has always been a silent worker and is known not to speak much. His duty as Chief Secretary finished on Monday (May 31) and was appointed as the Chief Advisor of Mamata Banerjee today.
To be noted, Alapan was the link between the Centre and the TMC government during the Covid-19 review meetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Alpan Bandyopadhya's relation with CM Mamata Banerjee, governor and Buddhadeb Bhattacharya
According to his aides, Alapan Bandyopadhyay always referred to Mamata Banerjee as "Madam CM" during meetings and stood up when she arrived at her chamber. However, Mamata Banerjee used to ask him to be seated, saying, "I am not that type of chief minister". Alapan Bandyopadhyay was the link between the Centre and the TMC government during the Covid-19 review meetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief ministers.
Mr Bandyopadhyay known to be a good speaker, was respected on both sides of the political spectrum. The TMC government's relation with the Governor Jagdeep Dhankar is quite strained, however the governor has good personal relations with the former Chief Secy. Besides the governor, he has also had a good bond with Left leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharya when he was the Bengal chief minister. Alapan was known to be his Man Friday when Bhattacharya served as minister of information and culture between 1987 and 1996.
Alpan Bandyopadhya's personal life, education and career:
Bandyopadhyay, born in 1961, did his schooling at Narendrapur Ramakrishna Mission and was a good student, ranking 3rd in the final exam. He had his ambitions clear in Class 11 of becoming an IAS officer and took humanities even though his school friends thought he would go for science or pursue engineering.
Bandyopadhyay met his wife Sonali Chakrabarty, daughter of famous poet Nirendranatth Chakrabarty. Sonali Chakrabarty is now vice chancellor of Calcutta University
Alapan Bandyopadhyay is an alumnus of Presidency University, where he did his graduation in political science. He then did his masters at Calcutta University. After his masters, Alapan tried hand in journalism and joined ABP in 1983. In 1987, Alapan Bandyopadhyay aced the IAS exam and then there was no looking back and he went on to have an excellent career. Alapan Bandyopadhyay is a voracious reader of books on Indian philosophy and political thoughts of Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi.