Mamata Banerjee writes to PM Modi, seeks renaming of West Bengal as Bangla
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him for the Constitutional amendment during the ongoing session of Parliament, required to change the name of ‘West Bengal’ to ‘Bangla.’
“You are probably aware that for quite a few years now we have been seeking a change in the name of our state. The present name ‘West Bengal’ is in English and ‘Paschim Banga’ in Bengali and does not bear the testimony of the classical history that our state has,” she writes in the letter.
“Name of a State should invoke a strong sense of identity among its people and this identity can be formed if the State’s name carries the signature of its history and authentic culture.”
“I would again request you to kindly accept the wishes of the people of West Bengal, as enshrined in the resolution of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly and in the proposal of the West Bengal Cabinet to rename our state as ‘Bangla’ in English, Hindi, and Bengali,” she has written.
“This re-christening will be in consonance with the history, culture, and identity of our State and will reflect the aspirations of our people. I would request you to kindly get this amendment done accordingly in the current session of the Parliament.”
Her letter to the Prime Minister came hours after Union Government rejected her demand to change the name of the State saying that this could be done only through a Constitutional amendment.
The Chief Minister reminded the Prime Minister on August 19, 2011, in a meeting attended by all political parties in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, it was decided that the State would be spelled as ‘Paschim Banga’ in both English and Bengali.
“On August 29, 2016, the West Bengal Legislative Assembly carried a resolution proposing that the name of the State should now be ‘Bengal’ in English, ‘Bangle’ in Bengali and ‘Bengal’ in Hindi. The Government of India was requested accordingly in September 2016. We, however, received intimation from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, that the new official name of the State has to be same in all three languages,” she said.
“The State Cabinet on August 8, 2017, decided that the name of the State should be ‘Bangla’ in all languages. The West Bengal Legislative Assembly also followed it up by a resolution on July 27, 2018.”
On March 29, 2017, the Union Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected Mamata Banerjee’s demand to rename her state to ‘Bangla’ from West Bengal, citing diplomatic confusion over a similarity with neighbouring Bangladesh, TMC sources said.
On July 3, 2019, the Union government refused her demand to change West Bengal’s name to Bangla. The government said that the Constitutional amendment is needed to change the name of a state, they said. (ANI)