Hours after the Centre informed the Rajya Sabha that it was yet to approve the change of name of West Bengal to ‘Bangla’, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to expedite the matter.
The development came after Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai in a written response to a question from MP Ritabrata Banerjee said the Centre had not cleared the name ‘Bangla’ for West Bengal.
“Changing a state’s name requires a constitutional amendment and it is done after taking into consideration all relevant factors,” Rai said.
Last year in July, the West Bengal Assembly passed a resolution to change the name of the state to “Bangla”. The resolution was supported by the Congress and the Left too.
However, the BJP raised strong objections against the move, dubbing it an attempt to undermine the history of West Bengal.
In August 2016, the TMC-led government had written to the Centre, suggesting three names — “Bangla” in Bengali, “Bengal” in English and “Bangal” in Hindi. The proposal was turned down by the Centre. Then the House zeroed in on “Bangla”.
The change of name was felt as ministers, senior bureaucrats and politicians from West Bengal often complained that they were attended to at the end of high-level meetings in Delhi, where representatives were called in alphabetical order as per the states’ names.
The change in name will put the state’s name at the fourth spot, after Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, and Assam.