Modi Govt Says ‘No’ To West Bengal Name Change To ‘Bangla’


New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government on Wednesday refused West Bengal Chief Minister’s Mamata Banerjee’s demand to change West Bengal’s name to Bangla.

The government said that Constitutional amendment is needed to change the name of a state.

On July 26, 2018, the West Bengal assembly had passed a resolution to change the state’s name to ‘Bangla’ from West Bengal. The resolution was sent to the Union home ministry for approval.

West Bengal Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said, “The name changing process first started in 2016 when the state proposed three names in three different languages — ‘Bangla’ in Bengali, ‘Bengal’ in English and ‘Bangal’ in Hindi. However, the Centre rejected the proposal and asked for a single name. Accordingly, we amended the proposal and proposed a single name.”

Speaking on the issue, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that she does not like her state to figure at the bottom just because alphabetically it is placed way down the line, and changing the name to Bangla would solve the problem.

“By the time West Bengal is getting its turn, both the speaker and the listener are losing their patience and interest. This is happening in all important meetings. Our madam [Mamata Banerjee] is doing so much homework to present the case of West Bengal, but who is there to hear her,” said a state bureaucrat.

Usually, West Bengal comes up for discussion in the second half, much after the lunch recess. By the time, the representatives of the West Bengal get to speak, the gravity of a full house is missing, Banerjee realised this after having failed to make much impact among the audience in the meeting. “We are losing out on a lot of opportunities,” she is reported to have rued.