Other States

Assembly drops West, renames State as Bengal

Mamata Banerjee.

The West Bengal Legislative Assembly on Monday passed a resolution changing the name of the State to Bengal in English and Bangla in Bengali. Despite the Trinamool Congress government’s strong efforts to forge a consensus on the name change resolution, the Congress, the Left Front and the Bharatiya Janata Party did not support the resolution.

Consent of the Parliament is necessary to effect the name change.

While representatives of all the three opposition parties participated in the debate, Congress MLAs later walked out of the House, the Left Front wanted an amendment on the name change and the BJP outright opposed the resolution.

After a vociferous debate, the resolution, under Rule 169 of the rules of procedures of the House, was passed by a voice vote.

Saying ‘no’ to Bangla is historic blunder: Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who led the Assembly debate on the resolution to change the name of the State to ‘Bengal’ in English and ‘Bangla’ in Bengali, quoted former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee as supporting the name ‘Bangla’ during a debate in 1999.

He had said it would suit the State’s culture and literature, Ms. Banerjee said.

The resolution was moved by State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee under rule 169.

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 ‘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’,” Ms Banerjee said.

Blames opposition

Later speaking to the media, the Chief Minister termed the attitude of the Opposition “a historic blunder” and said, “The people of the State will not forgive them for not supporting the government on the name change”.

“It doesn’t matter who opposed it. The West Bengal assembly passed it”, she said.

Ms Banerjee said the Centre had already been informed that they should not consider an earlier resolution adopted by the State Assembly on the issue and that a fresh proposal would be sent to them soon.

She said the matter would now be sent to the central government and then it will be placed in Parliament.

The Chief Minister said she spoken to 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.

Why two, asks Left Front

Leader of the Left Front legislature party Sujan Chakraborty said in the House that none of the States in the country had different names in different languages. The amendment moved by the Left parties in the House called for one name — ‘Bangla’. Ms Banerjee, however, said that would create confusion because the neighbouring country was called Bangladesh and emphasised that Bengal should be name of the State in English.

Earlier resolutions

In September 2011 the State Assembly, under the earlier Trinamool Congress government, had passed a resolution changing the name of the State to Paschim Banga both in Bengali and English. In 1999, the Left Front government had passed resolution-changing name of the State to Bangla. Both the previous resolutions were unanimous and supported by all parties.

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Printable version | May 7, 2022 3:05:59 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/West-Bengal-Assembly-passes-resolution-for-State%E2%80%99s-name-change/article60549019.ece