The sister-in-law of former chief secretary of West Bengal Alapan Bandyopadhyay, Aditi Bandyopadhyay, was appointed an advisor to the West Bengal Tourist Development Corporation. The order was issued on May 17, 2021.

The appointment is for three years with a monthly salary of Rs 1,10,000.

Aditi Bandhapadhyay is the wife of the late Anjan Bandyopadhyay, a senior Bengali-language journalist who died on May 16. Anjan Bandyopadhyay is the younger brother of Alapan Bandyopadhyay who retired as West Bengal chief secretary on May 31.

Delhi-Kolkata tussle

The end of Alapan Bandyopadhyay’s tenure was mired with controversy, with the Narendra Modi government summoning the senior bureaucrat to New Delhi. This was in response to allegations by the Modi government that West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had kept Prime Minister Modi waiting while attending a meeting on the aftermath of Cyclone Yaas on May 28 and had then left without his permission.

West Bengal refused to comply with the Modi government’s summons, terming them in “violation of applicable laws” against “public interest” and “ab initio void”. Instead, Bandyopadhyay retired from the Indian Administrative Service and joined the West Bengal government as a chief advisor to the chief minister, a political appointment that underscored his importance to Banerjee.

With its order to summon Bandyopadhyay to Delhi rendered infructuous, the Modi government also sent Bandyopadhyay a show-cause notice under the Disaster Management Act for allegedly refusing to attend the meeting with Modi. The section under which he has been sent the notice is related to the punishment for refusing to comply with the central or state government’s order with imprisonment up to one year or fine, or both. If the refusal leads to loss of life or imminent danger, the punishment may extend up to two years, according to the section.