West Bengal Assembly passes resolution to rename state as Bangla

West Bengal state assembly dominated by Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress Government has unanimously passed resolution to change state’s name to ‘Bangla’ in all three languages – Bengali, Hindi and English. The name change will only become official when resolution gets approval from Union Home Ministry and Parliament passes Bill.

Key Facts

The main reason cited by State Government for changing name of West Bengal to Bangla is that whenever there is meeting of all states, West Bengal figures at bottom of the list, as it is prepared according to alphabetical order. With change in its Bangla, it will appear (or leapfrog) to fourth place after Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam in list of states in alphabetical order.

Background

The move of comes West Bengal state assembly to change name of state comes almost two years after it first passed a resolution to change the name of the State in August 2016. The state government had earlier submitted a proposal to the Centre to change the name of West Bengal to to Bengal in English, Bangla in Bengali and Bangal in Hindi. The proposal was turned down by Union Home Ministry.

Procedure of changing name of state

Process for changing the name of a state can be initiated by state itself. However, by virtue of article 3 of Constitution, Parliament has power to change name of state even if such proposal does not come from the concerned state. If initiated by state assembly, it will first pass a resolution for such change and this passed resolution will be sent to Central government (Union Home Ministry). Then Union Home Ministry prepares note for Union Cabinet for amendment to Schedule 1 of Constitution. Thereafter, Constitution Amendment Bill is introduced in Parliament under Article 3 of Constitution, which has to be approved with simple majority, before President gives his assent to it. Thereafter name of state will be changed. The example of such change is change in name of Orissa to Odisha. The Government of Orissa initiated this change in 2008 when it forwarded resolution passed by State Legislative Assembly to Union Government to change name of state from Orissa to Odisha. This bill was passed by Parliament as Orissa (Alteration of Name) Act, 2010 to rename state.

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