The West Bengal Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution to change the name of the state to “Bangla”. The state government will now recommend this change of name to the Centre. 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.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told the Assembly Thursday that the Centre recently told the state government that they can accept only one name and not three. Then the House zeroed in on “Bangla”.
“Although we had sent the proposal earlier, the Union government decided to sit on it for a long time. However, they have sent a communication to us recently, advising us to choose one name… We do not want any controversy on this issue, and therefore, we have decided to finally choose the name ‘Bangla’,” Mamat said in Assembly.
According to government sources, 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.
Speaking in the Assembly in August 2016, when the House passed the resolution for three names, minister Partha Chatterjee had said, “If West Bengal gets the new name, it will leapfrog from bottom of the list to the top…”
The change in name will put the state’s name at the fourth spot, after Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, and Assam.
State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said, “We are opposed to the move. TMC is trying to erase the history of Bengal and how Syama Prasad Mookerjee contributed towards the formation of West Bengal… Bangla is associated with Bangladesh and not West Bengal.”
Sources said the three BJP MLAs, Ghosh one of them, did not give a written objection to the move in the Assembly.