As West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Chief Advisor Alapan Bandyopadhyay gets a show-cause notice from the Ministry of Home Affairs and faces the prospect of a jail term of up to a year, the Central government has sent a stern message to the Babus who are fiercely loyal to Mamata Banerjee – the breaking of decorum and federal structure will not be tolerated, their first line of duty is to serve the state of West Bengal and not act as lackeys of the Chief Minister.
The tussle between the Centre and Mamata Banerjee is showing no sign of de-escalating especially after the West Bengal Chief Minister decided to insult the post of the Prime Minister. Such fights are only going to increase as Mamata eyes the PM post for herself come 2024 and she will rely on her oldest trick in the book picking up a fight with the Centre and showcase herself as a fearless warrior who can take on the BJP’s rising popularity over the years. In Mamata’s zeal to become the Prime Minister, the Babus will be caught in the crossfire.
After the then-Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay chose to follow Mamata out of the Cyclone Yaas review meeting with PM Modi instead of presenting the findings during the meeting, Bandyopadhyay broke decorum and aided Mamata in breaking the principles of federalism after he refused to comply with his central deputation.
While Mamata managed to find a loophole for Bandyopadhyay as he made him retire and in turn elevate him as her Chief Advisor, the West Bengal Chief Minister would struggle to find such loopholes for every loyalist Babu.
Babus who are more loyal to Mamata rather than West Bengal or the Centre, now face the prospect of demotion as the Centre with the case of Bandyopadhyay has shown that it has zero tolerance for such nonsense.
Additionally, the fact that Mamata Banerjee moved heaven and earth to ensure that Bandyopadhyay doesn’t have to report in New Delhi for his new deputation in the department of personnel and training (DoPT) in North Block, points to the fact that Bandyopadhyay is her weakest link with an insecure West Bengal CM worried about what would happen should he open his mouth ever in Delhi. There is no doubt that Bandyopadhyay is close to Mamata as the latter has appointed him as her Chief Advisor – a post reserved only for the Chief Minister’s closest confidantes. A similar scenario can be seen in Punjab where CM Captain Amarinder Singh has appointed poll strategist Prashant Kishor as his Advisor.