Kolkata: The West Bengal Assembly on Monday passed a resolution to change the name of the state to Bengal in English and Bangla in Bengali, but the Left, Congress and BJP members walked out in protest against the decision.
The proposal will now be forwarded to the Centre for consideration and if approved, that state will soon be called Bengal.
“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,” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said.
Banerjee attacked Opposition parties for staging a walkout and said, “History will not forgive those who are opposing this move. This day is a historic day and will be remembered in golden letters.”
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.
She claimed that the Left acted out of frustration, since the party was not able to change the name of the state when they were in power. “The Left also tried to get the name changed, they failed. They are now opposing the name change,” Mamata said.
Earlier in August, the West Bengal cabinet had cleared a proposal to change the name of the state to either ‘Bangla’ or ‘Bongo’ in Bengali and ‘Bengal’ in English.
The Chief Minister told the media that ‘Bangla’ was favoured over ‘Bongo’ by most.
In August 2011, the TMC had decided to rename the state as “Paschimbanga” in English. All opposition parties had agreed to the name change back then.