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West Bengal to be renamed Paschimbanga

Kolkata: A consensus to rename West Bengal as Paschimbanga was today 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 state’s new name will be Paschimbanga 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 SUCI(C), Left Front constituents CPI-M, CPI, RSP, Forward Bloc as also GJM, 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 low down alphabetically which resulted in disadvantage for the state.

“Paschimbanga as a new name also mirrors history,” he said, adding a resolution would be moved in the Assembly for adoption 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 flanked 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 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 Left Front was in power. The moves did not mature due to various reasons.

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