West Bengal’s ex-Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, who has been served notice under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 for refusing to comply with its lawful direction, is being made a scapegoat amid political fight between PM Narendra Modi-HM Amit Shah combine and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, political observers feel. The babus in the corridors of power claim Bandyopadhyay has an upper hand in arguing his case and let the political bosses continue to settle scores against each other. Bandyopadhyay, who opted to retire and be appointed as West Bengal CM’s chief advisor for three years — instead of reporting to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), has dashed off a letter to the Centre in which he makes his case, adding he has all the respect for the PM. The undersigned was privy to the letter which says: “The CM to whom I reported directly was also doing disaster management and she wanted me there. I followed protocol by going there. CM had taken permission, so I thought it applies to me. I left. If I was wanted there I would have certainly waited. I had nothing against the PM or cyclone review meeting. Both were important but CM wanted me to accompany her. After I got the recall notice, I consulted the CM and my understanding was I cannot go unless CM asked me to go. She flatly refused. With such a situation I was in a quandary. I had all the intention to come and report to DoPT. In any case I decided not to continue as CS, so I had no hesitation in coming but I was stopped. If I had decided to report to DoPT against the CM’s wish, she could have ordered a department inquiry against me and not allowed me to retire or suspended me for subordination. So, I decided to go with the CM’s express order.’’ The ball is now in the Centre’s court for further action.