Kolkata: Days after the Centre initiated major penalty proceedings against former West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay for alleged misconduct, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the former bureaucrat is an honest officer. Saying that Bandyopadhyay is a competent person, Mamata said that he is totally authorised to take action as per his convenience and her government will support him. She also went on to allege that the Central government is victimising an officer in West Bengal.Also Read - Bengal Police File FIR Against Key CBI Official Probing Coal Scam Case

“Alapan Bandyopadhyay is an honest officer and competent person. He is totally authorised to take action as per his convenience and our government will support him. The Central government is victimising an officer,” Mamata Banerjee said. Also Read - Presidential Election 2022: Why Farooq Abdullah Turned Down Opposition’s Offer to Run For President?

On Tuesday, the TMC accused the Centre of trying to disturb the functioning of the West Bengal government by initiating disciplinary proceedings against Alapan Bandyopadhyay. Also Read - Farooq Abdullah, Gopalkrishna Gandhi Emerge As Opposition Candidates For Presidential Race

The TMC also claimed that petulance has become part of state policy of the Central government and the action against Bandyopadhyay, now working as an advisor to the chief minister, amounted to opening of a provocative chapter in federal conflicts.

The BJP however, denied the charges as “baseless” and accused the Mamata Banerjee-led party of politicising the bureaucracy.

“The BJP has resorted to disturb the functional affairs of the government of West Bengal to further its political agenda its humiliating defeat in the election. It is the prime minister who sits at the helm of the DoPT, and there’s no point in guessing that this is nothing but personal rage, which is desperately finding a venting point to roar,” senior TMC MP and party spokesperson Sougata Ray said.

The statement from Mamata and TMC came days after the Centre initiated major penalty proceedings against Bandyopadhyay, amid a tug-of-war between the Union government and the Mamata Banerjee dispensation over him, which may deprive him of post-retirement benefits, partially or fully.

Recently, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has sent Bandyopadhyay, who retired on May 31 and is now the chief advisor to the CM, a “memorandum” mentioning the charges giving him 30 days to reply. Earlier, the DoPT had sent him a reminder after he failed to report in response to its May 28 order.

The Union Home Ministry has also slapped a show-cause notice on Bandyopadhyay under a stringent provision of the Disaster Management Act that entails imprisonment for up to two years for abstaining from the meeting presided over by the PM.