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Nation Current Affairs 04 Jul 2019 No government nod to ...

No government nod to Bengal name change; Mamata writes to PM Modi

Published Jul 4, 2019, 1:15 am IST
Updated Jul 4, 2019, 1:15 am IST
Name change requires constitutional amendment.
Mamata Banerjee.
 Mamata Banerjee.

New Delhi: Centre has clarified that it has so far not given its approval to a proposal mooted by the Mamata Banerjee Government to change the name of West Bengal to Bangla.

Minister of state for home Nityanand Rai informed the Rajya Sabha of the same in a written reply to a question raised by MP Ritabrata Banerjee.


The minister stated “no sir’’ when asked if Centre has cleared the changing of West Bengal’s name to Bangla as had been proposed by the respective state government.

Mr Rai further clarified that changing the name of a state requires a constitutional amendment and it  can be done only after taking into account various relevant factors.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee is believed to have now written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for expediting the matter.

Earlier, on July 26 last year the West Bengal assembly had adopted a unanimous resolution to change the name of the state in three most popular languages—English, Bengali and Hindi.

They forwarded the same proposal to the Union home ministry.

In 2011 also the state government has proposed that West Bengals’ name be changed to Paschimbanga but  this was turned down by the central government.
The proposal was changed in 2016 when the state government recommended that the name be changed to Bengal in English, Bangla in Bengali and Bangal in Hindi. But this proposal was turned down by Centre as it was of the opinion that only one name cane be accepted and not three. Even with the earlier proposals Centre had objections that the name Bangla was similar to Bangladesh and this could lead to diplomatic issues at international forum as it would be difficult to differentiate between the names.

The 2018 proposal was also referred to the ministry of external affairs for its view. Centre had agreed the change the name of a State in 2011 when the name of Orissa was  replaced with Odisha. Similarly, Bombay was renamed Mumbai in 1995 while Madras was changed to Chennai in 1996 and Calcutta as Kolkata in 2001.

Centre had also approved name changes for 11 cities in Karnataka, including that of Bangalore to Bengaluru, in 2014.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi