Centre refuses nod to ‘Bangla’

The Centre has returned the state’s proposal to rename itself as ‘Bangla’ suggesting instead the name ‘Paschimbanga’, which is favoured by the state unit of BJP. The MEA has objected to the name citing its similarity with Bangladesh. The Mamata Banerjee government had proposed the renaming thrice — 2011, 2016 and 2018.

The first proposal, ironically, to change the name to ‘Paschimbanga’ was turned down by the UPA-2 government. No reason was given for it, sources claimed. The 2016 proposal to name ‘Bengal’ in English, ‘Bangla’ in Bengali and ‘Bangal’ in Hindi was turned down by the NDA government citing the complexity of three different names.

The NDA had suggested the name Bangla, which was accepted by the state, said Partha Chatterjee. Accordingly, the state cabinet proposed Bangla in 2017 and the assembly unanimously passed the name-change resolution in July 2018. “This move thus comes as a surprise,” a cabinet minister said. The state BJP welcomed the move. “The name Bangla obliterated the history of partition. Paschimbanga is integral to Shyama Prasad Mukherjee’s work and ideals,” state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said.

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