Mamata Banerjee government’s proposal to change the name of West Bengal to ‘Bangla’ had been rejected by home ministry. Meanwhile, CM Mamata Banerjee on July 3 wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to get the amendment done in the ongoing session of Parliament.
In a written reply to Parliament on July 3, MoS (Home) stated that the name of the state cannot be changed as it would require a Constitutional amendment to effect the change.
Although, The West Bengal Assembly had passed a resolution in July 2018 to change the name of the state from ‘West Bengal’ to ‘Bangla’ in all three languages – English, Bengali, and Hindi. The resolution was subsequently sent to the Union Ministry of Home for approval.
On July 26 last year, discussion in the West Bengal Assembly regarding the name change, the West Bengal CM had mentioned that she had personally raised the issue with the home ministry. She had mentioned, “They argued that there cannot be three different names and we should stick to one name. Even though we wanted three names, we have to follow instructions. Let us pass the resolution for Bangla.”
Earlier in August 2016, the West Bengal Assembly had passed another resolution for changing the state’s name to ‘Bengal’ in English, ‘Bangla’ in Bengali and ‘Bangal’ in Hindi. However, the Union Government rejected the proposal in 2017, objecting to three separate names in three languages.
Reportedly, West Bengal CM was unhappy with the fact that the state usually comes at the bottom list for any discussion in Parliament because of the alphabetical placement of the state on the list. In other words, The move to rename is aimed at climbing the alphabetical sequence of state names in which West Bengal appears last in the list now.
The Centre’s decision would spark a fresh rift between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the All India Trinamool Congress that have been at loggerheads over various issues lately. Despite all of this, The last time the name of a state was changed was in 2011, when Orissa became Odisha. Bombay was renamed Mumbai in 1995, Madras as Chennai in 1996 and Calcutta as Kolkata in 2001. The Union government had approved name changes for 11 cities in Karnataka, including that of Bangalore to Bengaluru, in 2014.