The West Bengal Assembly on Thursday adopted a resolution declaring Banglar Mati, Banglar Jol (Bengal’s soil, Bengal’s Water) song written by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore as the state anthem.
The Assembly also adopted a resolution to make Poila Baisakh, the first day of the Bengali calendar, as the West Bengal Foundation Day. Poila Baisakh usually falls on April 14 or April 15 as per the Gregorian calendar.
“This is a day of great pride for us all,” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday. “Let’s celebrate our progress and togetherness!”
The development came as the Centre had announced that June 20 will be observed as the West Bengal Foundation Day, reported PTI.
On June 20, 1947, West Bengal MLAs had voted for partition from East Bengal, which then became East Pakistan. The legislators from East Bengal had voted against the partition of the state.
On Thursday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that state residents do not support June 20 as the foundation day as it is “synonymous with violence and bloodshed” due to the partition.
Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Suvendu Adhikari has said that the resolution will not receive Governor CV Ananda Bose’s assent. To this, Banerjee asserted: “If the governor doesn’t give his nod to this resolution of observing state day on Poila Baisakh, we will still observe it.”
The resolution was passed with 167 members voting in favour in the 294-member Assembly, reported the Hindustan Times. Sixty-two BJP MLAs voted against the resolution, describing it as an “attempt to distort history”.
“We are not going to accept her [Banerjee’s] history,” said BJP leader Agnimitra Paul. “June 20 is Bengal Diwas and we will stick to it.”