Home Ministry raises issue with Mamata Banerjee’s move to rename West Bengal

Home Ministry raises issue with Mamata Banerjee’s move to rename West Bengal
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New Delhi: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s efforts to rename the state ‘Bangla’ have hit a roadblock with the Ministry of Home Affairs expressing concerns that that the new name could be confused with Bangladesh, creating difficulties at international forums.
The home ministry has raised this concern with the Ministry of External Affairs, reporta said.
According to sources, since India and Bangladesh share close and friendly relations, it was advised that the external affairs ministry should review West Bengal’s proposal and respond before it is goes through further examination. Unlike changing the name of a city or district, sources reasoned, altering name of a state requires a constitutional amendment.
The move, according to state officials, is aimed at climbing the alphabetical sequence of state names in which West Bengal appears last in the list now.
In July, the West Bengal assembly passed a resolution for the same, saying that the state will be called Bangla in three languages – Bengali, English and Hindi. A month before that the proposal of changing the name first surfaced, with the state government citing historical, cultural and political reasons. According to reports, Banerjee justified the move, saying that the “West” in Bengal is a reminder of the partition of Bengal into East Bengal (later East Pakistan) and the West Bengal province of independent India.
The Central government had in 2016 rejected the state government’s proposal of having three names – Bangla (in Bengali), Bengal (in English) and Bangal (in Hindi).
The Banerjee government’s move to rename West Bengal as ‘Paschim Bango’ in 2011 was also turned down by the Centre.
A top home ministry official said that once the MEA responds, “a draft note for the cabinet will be prepared to bring an amendment.”
The constitution amendment bill will then be introduced in parliament and will need to be approved there before the bill goes to the president.