Centre Declines West Bengal Govt's Proposal To Change The Name Of The State
The tension between the Centre and the West Bengal government has worsened as the latter’s proposal to change the name of the state to ‘Bangla’ has again been rejected, prompting the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to write a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is the fourth time the Central government has rejected the proposal of the state’s name change by the West Bengal government.
The Centre on July 3 explaining the reason for refusing the name change said that the move will require a constitutional amendment.
Junior home minister Nityanand Rai responding to Rajya Sabha MP Ritabrata Banerjee said, “Change in the name of a state requires constitutional amendment after taking into consideration all relevant factors.”
The West Bengal state assembly on July 26, 2018, had unanimously passed a resolution to rename the state’s name to ‘Bangla’. The resolution was waiting for the approval from the Union home ministry.
At that time The Times Of India reported that Centre had objected to the name change, citing that the name ‘Bangla’ sounds similar to Bangladesh and it would be hard to differentiate between the two at international forums.
On August 29, 2016, the state government’s demand for changing the name of the state to ‘Bengal’ in English, ‘Bangla’ in Bengali and ‘Bangal’ in Hindi was rejected by the home affairs, because a state cannot have three names.
In 2011, the state government suggested the renaming of the state to ‘Paschimbanga’ which was turned down by the central government.
Letter to PM
The West Bengal CM in her letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged him to accept people’s wish. In the letter, she said that rechristening the name of the state will be in consonance with the history, culture and identity of our state and will reflect the aspirations of our people. In the letter, Mamata Banerjee further asked the PM Modi to expedite the renaming process.