The Central government has issued a show-cause notice to Alapan Bandhopadhyay, retired Chief Secretary and newly appointed Chief Advisor to Mamata Banerjee, asking him to explain his absence from PM Modi's meeting on Cyclone Yaas in Bengal. The Centre has served notice under the Disaster Management Act and asked Bandopadhyay to respond by Monday.
"In view of the absence, the Chief Secretary (Mr Bandyopadhay) was called by an official as to whether they wanted to participate in the review meeting or not. Thereafter, Chief Secretary arrived along with Chief Minister of West Bengal inside the meeting room and left thereafter immediately," the Centre said, as reported by NDTV.
The notice comes after Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and her team had on Friday begged off the meeting with PM Modi to review the impact of Cyclone Yaas in Bengal and left after a brief interaction with the Prime Minister at the airbase where he had landed after an aerial review. The Centre later accused Banerjee of behaving in an "ugly, disrespectful and arrogant manner" and insulting PM Modi. The show-cause notice also specifies that PM Modi and other members of his entourage waited for nearly 15 minutes for the officers of the Bengal government to arrive.
The notice to Bandhopadhyay was issued on the same evening, prompting Banerjee to hit out at the Centre for not giving a reason for summoning Bengal's top bureaucrat to Delhi, calling it "vendetta" and adding that she had never seen anything so "heartless". Although the law says that only the state government can discipline a state official, the notice specifies that the officer was pulled up for not attending "affairs of the Center".
Mamata Banerjee has since asserted she had other scheduled meetings and, due to bad weather, had to fly out for those at the earliest. She also added that she left only with the Prime Minister's permission.