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Parliament nod for Orissa to be renamed 'Odisha'

March 24, 2011 15:14 IST

Orissa will hereafter be called 'Odisha' and the Oriya language will be known as 'Odia' with Parliament giving its approval to the amendment of the Constitution and passage of the related bill.

The Rajya Sabha passed the Orissa (the Alteration of Name) Bill and adopted the Constitution (113th) Amendment Bill after a brief debate with members from all parties.

Supported by all parties, including the ruling Biju Janta Dal, the Constitution Amendment Bill was adopted by all 169 members present and voting.

Such a bill requires the support of at least two-third of members present and voting. Besides, the majority of the strength of the House should be present for voting. The Upper House has a strength of 245 members.

The Lok Sabha has already adopted these measures after the Centre received the resolution passed by the state assembly.

While there was all round support for the measure, BJP and Congress members sought to target Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, charging him with non-performance and heading a government facing scams.

The bills were piloted by Home Minister P Chidambaram.

However, the electronic voting system witnessed glitches during the division; even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's vote was also cast wrongly.

Participating in the debate, members said the name change was the process of de-colonisation as British rulers had changed the Indian names of cities and states.

Pyarimohan Mohapatra of the BJD said it was a 'great moment' for people of the state and added that with the change of name, they are getting back their pride.

Congress leader R C Khuntia rued that the state, which was prosperous once, has become poverty-stricken. He, however, hoped the change of name will fulfill aspirations of the people.

He said the state was facing many scams and corruption charges in the present rule.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Rudra Narayan Pany charged Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with non-performance and said Patnaik could not even speak the local language.

But his colleague Chandan Mitra said, "Orissa regains its prestige and sense of history."

Mitra said while India's heritage was revered in many parts of the world, "we have forgotten our own heritage."

There have been many cities and states that have been renamed after independence. These include Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras), Kolkata (Calcutta), Pune (Poona), Kochi (Cochin) and Bangaluru (Banglore).

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