West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government of ignoring her administration’s request to rename her state while going on a renaming spree of its own. In a Facebook post, the chief minister and Trinamool Congress leader said the state Assembly had in July passed a resolution to change the state’s name to “Bangla” in Bengali, English and Hindi.
The resolution was the third attempt to give West Bengal an advantage in meetings led by the Union government where opportunities to speak are allotted on an alphabetical basis. The change is subject to the Union Home Ministry’s approval.
Banerjee claimed that the Centre’s attitude to her government’s request was different from its approach to other administrations. “Recently, I have been noticing that almost every day BJP has been changing the names of historical places and institutions unilaterally to suit their own political vested interests,” the chief minister wrote. “It clearly shows deprivation to the people of Bengal.”
The Mamata Banerjee-led state government has been vocal about the matter citing that its name has put it at a disadvantage during meetings where the 29 states are in attendance. State representatives complained that they do not get enough time to put their points across.
In 2011, Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress-led government had proposed to rename the state “Paschim Bango” which was rejected by the Central government. Opposition parties led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) had also supported the move then.
In August 2016, the state passed a resolution to rename the state in three languages – Bangla in Bengali, Bengal in English, and Bangal in Hindi. The Centre turned down this proposal.