TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee defends Alapan Bandyopadhyay, claims all political parties violated COVID-19 norms during elections

·3-min read
TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee (Photo/ANI)
TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee (Photo/ANI)

South 24 Parganas (West Bengal) [India], June 2 (ANI): Hitting out at Centre for issuing a showcause notice to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Chief Advisor Alapan Bandyopadhyay under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Abhishek Banerjee on Wednesday questioned why are Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah are not prosecuted for the same.

Earlier today, TMC leader Banerjee visited Patharpratima and Sandeshkhali in the Sunderbans of South 24 Parganas district to assess the devastation left behind by Cyclone Yaas on river embankment and the surrounding area.

Speaking to the media after the visit, the TMC MP from Diamond Harbour said the Disaster Management Act should be applied to the Election Commissioner for conducting the West Bengal Assembly Election in eight phases.

"Those who are protesting under the pretext of dealing with the disaster are responsible first. The Disaster Management Act should be enforced by the officials in charge of elections. It should be enforced against the Home Minister and the Prime Minister (for campaigning during a pandemic). It should also be applied against all political parties including us. The Disaster Management Act should be applied to the Election Commissioner," said Banerjee.

TMC MP questioned why Disaster Management laws were not applied to politicians for conducting roadshows amid pandemic.

"Delhi leaders have held roadshows. Then why the disaster management law will not be applied against them? Look at your face in the mirror first. As a result of the eight-phase election in Bengal, many people have died due to corona. When the Prime Minister should have asked the people to stay at home, he came here and said, 'I have never seen so many people before, it feels good'. This is our misfortune as countrymen," he said.

On Tuesday, just a day after being appointed as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Chief Advisor, Bandyopadhyay was issued a show-cause notice by the central government under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 asking him to write within three days.

On Monday also, a show-cause notice was served to Alapan Bandyopadhyay for failing to report to the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) as directed by the central government.

Bandyopadhyay was to retire on May 31 and had earlier been given three months extension.

The Central government had on Friday issued an order to recall Bandyopadhyay, and said placement of his services with the government has been approved.

The state government was asked to relieve the officer with immediate effect and he was directed to report to North Block by May 31.

The development took place after Banerjee along with the state chief secretary skipped the review meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday aftermath of Cyclone Yaas.

Banerjee had on Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw the Central government's order to recall Bandyopadhyay. Later on Monday, she said Bandyopadhyay has retired from service and will not join in Delhi and has been made Chief Advisor.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held a review meeting at Kalaikunda in Paschim Medinipur district to take stock of the post-cyclonic situation. Mamata Banerjee was supposed to attend the meeting.

However, she arrived late by 30 minutes and handed him over reports of damage caused by the impact of Cyclone Yaas. Following this, she and the state chief secretary left for her "pre-scheduled" meeting at Digha. (ANI)