KOLKATA: The West Bengal state Assembly today passed a resolution to change the name of the state from West Bengal to ‘Bangla’ in Bengali and ‘Bengal’ in English. The opposition Congress, BJP and Left Front opposed the move.
The resolution was moved by state Parliamentary Affairs minister Partha Chatterjee under rule 169, which said that the name of the state would be ‘Bangla’ in Bengali , ‘Bengal’ in English and ‘Bangal’ in Hindi.
Speaking on the motion, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said “The name Bangla has a historical and cultural background. I don’t have any problem with the name of ‘Bango’ either. But most of the people want the name ‘Bangla’. In English it will be ‘Bengal’ so that there will be no confusion with the name of neighbouring Bangladesh.”
“Whenever we go out of India or to some other state we are known as people from Bengal. In 2011 we had once proposed to change the name of the state, but it was held back by the Centre. There was no decision regarding it. So we decided to bring it once again to change the name of the state to ‘Bangla’,” Banerjee said.
Later speaking to reporters, Banerjee said “Those who are opposing the name change just for the sake of politics should be ashamed. It is a historic blunder and the history will not forgive them.”
She said that the matter would now be sent to the central government and then it will be placed in Parliament.
“I will request the central government to pursue the matter so that it can be placed in Parliament. We want it to be done as early as possible,” she said.
Banerjee also criticised state BJP president and MlA Dilip Ghosh for his recent comments that he would not allow it to be passed.
“I will see how he can stop it. I will speak to the Union home minister. Who is he (Dilip Ghosh) to stop it?” Banerjee said.
The chief minister said that she had a talk with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the the name change.
“I told him (Rajnath Singh) that we passed it (resolutuion) in the Assembly. Now you pursue it,” she said.
Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan said that he wanted either a mass vote on the issue or wanted a commission to be set up to decide it.
On Mannan’s statement, Banerjee said “We all had gone through a mass vote three months back in the state (during Assembly poll) and the results are before us”.
Left Front legislative party leader Sujan Chakraborty said there should be an all-party meeting to decide on the matter.
“We don’t oppose the new name ‘Bangla’ but we wonder how can there be three names for the state–one in Bengali, one in English and another in Hindi. I think there has to be an all-party meet to discuss on the matter,” Chakraborty said.