The West Bengal Legislative Assembly today passed a resolution to change the name of the State to ‘Bengal’ in English, ‘Bangal’ in Hindi and ‘Bangla’ in Bengali.
However, the Congress, the Left Front and the BJP did not support the resolution despite the Trinamool Congress government’s efforts to arrive at a consensus of all political parties on the issue, reports NDTV.
Representatives of all the three parties participated in the debate. After a war of words during the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's speech, Congress legislatures walked out of the House, the Left Front wanted an amendment to the name change resolution and BJP opposed the resolution, according to The Hindu.
In the end the resolution was passed through voice vote.
"History will not forgive those who are opposing this. This is a historic day and will be remembered in golden letters," Mamata Banerjee told reporters.
The Centre has already been informed that they should not consider an earlier resolution adopted by the Assembly on the issue and a fresh proposal will be sent to them soon, the chief minister also said, adding that her government will urge the Centre to pass the resolution through the Parliament.
Consent of the Parliament is necessary to affect the name change, reports The Hindu.
If the central government accepts the state's proposal, the state will be bumped up the queue in national meetings with the new name. The chief minister had often complained that she rarely got a chance to speak in these meetings because West Bengal came at the end of a list of 29.
Earlier in 2001, the previous Left government led by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had cleared the renaming of the state to "Paschim Banga", however, the central government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee did not accept the suggestion, but Calcutta became Kolkata at the time, according to NDTV.
"The Left also tried to get the name changed, they failed. They are now opposing the name change," Mamata Banerjee remarked.
Independence and partition in 1947 led to the division of the Bengal province into West Bengal, which stayed in India, and East Bengal, which is now Bangladesh.