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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Conduct of Alapan Bandyopadhyay a severe dent to IAS

The Central government sources claimed that conduct of former West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay on May 28 has made a severe dent to the IAS, the supposed ‘steel frame’ of Bharat as devised by first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Referring to Sardar Patel’s address to the first batch of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers at Metcalfe House in the National Capital, a government source said” “He (Sardar Patel) referred to them as the ‘steel frame of India’.”

“He didn’t invent this phraseology only to inspire the young officers but behind this was a multitude of connotations – Bharat was a multicultural nation where rulers of these states would have their own interests and egos, at times inflated.

“In Indian federal structure the IAS would be appointed and would also be their cadre control authority even as their services would be placed to the states. On issues relating to governance and coordination these officers act as a bridge between the Centre and the states on issues.

“The service was constructed in such a way that they are expected to take a more rational and judicious view on a given subject in the best interest of the state and the nation.Sources asked what Bandyopadhyay, a 1987 batch IAS officer in his position of chief secretary of the state was expected to do – was his conduct and behaviour appropriate for the position he held?

“As senior most civil servant of the state, how should he have behaved? Did he take a rational and judicious view and decision on the spot or was he completely left to the whims of the chief minister so that his post-retiral could be handsomely rewarding,” he said.

Government sources explained that these questions are significant because a chief secretary can’t be working like the personal staff of the chief minister.

Government sources pointed out that after the landfall of the cyclonic storm ‘Yaas’, the Prime Minister had held a meeting with central ministries and agencies on May 27 for assessment of damages caused and for facilitating the states in early restoration measures.

“Further, a visit of the Prime Minister was scheduled to West Bengal on 28 May for an on-ground assessment. The chief secretary was duly informed of it and the PM chairing a review meeting at Air Force Station Kalaikunda, district West Midnapore on the same day,” sources said.

As per the government sources, Bandyopadhyay as Chief Secretary of West Bengal government was supposed to do the briefing to the Prime Minister and do the follow up.

“But when the PM arrived at the briefing room Bandyopadhyay was not present there. After he was contacted by an official from the Prime Minister’s delegation he came inside the meeting room but is said to have left within two minutes, without attending the review meeting,” sources said.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with minor edits to conform to HinduPost style-guide.)

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