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West Bengal to be renamed Paschim Banga

August 19, 2011 19:46 IST

A consensus to rename West Bengal as Paschim Banga was on Friday reached at an all-party meeting to change the nomenclature of the state.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee suggested the new name and unanimity was reached on it, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee told reporters after the meeting in the state assembly.

"It has been unanimously decided that the state's new name will be Paschim Banga from now in all languages," he said.

"We wanted a change in the name of the state to get the administrative advantage," he said.

The chief minister presided over the meeting attended by Trinamool Congress, besides ally Congress and Socialist Unity Centre of India, Left Front constituents Communist Party of India - Marxist, Communist Party of India, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Forward Bloc as also Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, among other parties.

Banerjee had earlier empowered Chatterjee and Leader of the Opposition Surjyakanta Mishra to study the new name for the state.

Chatterjee said the letter 'W' in West Bengal came almost at the end of the alphabet and this resulted in a disadvantage for the state.

"Paschim Banga as a new name also mirrors history," he said, adding that a resolution would be moved in the assembly for the adoption of the name, which would be then referred to the Centre.

Forward Bloc sources said the choice was made from among the suggestions of Paschimbanga, Bangla and Bangabhumi'.

CPI-M's Mishra, who accompanied Chatterjee at the press meet, said, "Whatever be the opinions in the past, unanimity was reached on the issue at the all-party meeting."

Once the bill in this regard is passed by two-thirds majority in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and ratified by the President, the state would get the new name.

Chatterjee said that the meeting also discussed the bifurcation of Jalpaiguri, Burdwan, West Midnapore and North 24 Parganas districts.

It was decided that district magistrates would be asked to seek the opinion of the people before proceeding with the move.

In the past also, similar moves were taken to rename West Bengal -- once in 1974 during Congress rule and later in 1999 when the Left Front was in power. The moves did not mature due to various reasons.

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