The West Bengal Assembly today passed a resolution to change the name of the state from West Bengal to ‘Bangla’ in Bengali, ‘Bengal’ in English and ‘Bangal’ in Hindi amidst strong opposition by BJP and reservation over the process by Congress and Left Front.
BJP questioned the very justification of the name change while the Congress demanded either a mass vote on the issue or wanted a committee to be set up to decide it.
The Left Front on the other hand said that there should be an all-party meeting to decide on the matter.
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. It was passed by 189-31 votes.
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.”
“It doesn’t matter who opposed it. The West Bengal assembly passed it”, she said.
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.
The chief minister said 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.
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.