West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has once again asked the central government to change the name of her state to ‘Bangla’. She pointed out that if Bombay’s name is changed to Mumbai and Orissa’s name is changed to Odisha, what is the fault with her state?
“We have earlier passed a Bill to change the name of our state in the Assembly. We have given them all sorts of clarifications. But for a long time, they have not changed the name of our state to Bangla,” Mamata Banerjee said in a press conference in Kolkata.
The Chief Minister questioned that if Bombay’s and Orissa’s names could be changed, why not West Bengal.
“Bombay’s name changed to Mumbai, Orissa to Odisha…but why can’t ours be changed? What is our fault,” Mamata asked.
Highlighting the advantages the state will get if its name is changed to Bangla, which alphabetically comes much earlier than West Bengal, Mamata said that it will help the state’s children when they go to competitions.
“If our state’s name is changed to Bangla, our children who participate in various competitions and go for studies will get priority. In every meeting, we are forced to wait till the end. W, X, Y, Z. The importance of Bangla has been reduced,” Mamata said.
The Chief Minister said that there is no need to add ‘West’ to the name of the state. Explaining it with an example, she said that Pakistan has a province named Punjab, while India has a state with the same name adjoining it.
“We don’t think there is no need to divide when the name of the state is Bangla. Pakistan has a province named Punjab. India too has a state named Punjab. If Bangaldesh can stay Bangladesh internationally, why can’t West Bengal be changed to Bangla,” Mamata said.
The Trinamool Congress government had earlier raised the demand to change the state’s name to ‘Paschim Banga’ or ‘Paschim Bango’ when it came to power in 2011. After five years, the Mamata Banerjee government passed another resolution proposing the new name as “Bongo” or “Bangla”.
The West Bengal Chief Minister has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to designate Ganga Sagar Mela as a “national fair”.
“We have sent letters about Gangasagar Mela earlier and we are sending a letter today as well. We have spent 250 crores this time as well. We are happy that Kumbha Mela has got ‘national fair’ acknowledgement. Kumbha Mela is not held every year, but Ganga Sagar is held every year,” Mamata said.
Comparing the Ganga Sagar Mela to Kumbh Mela which has been designated as a ‘national fair’, Mamata said, “Ganga Sagar is located at an island in Sundarban. Every year more than one crore people have to cross the waters to reach Ganga Sagar. How are we behind?…If they can get this achnowlegement, why will Bangla be deprived of having Ganga Sagar Mela acknowledged as a national fair?”
Mamata said that more than one crore people may be coming for the Ganga Sagar Mela this Makar Sankranti.
“Last year around 80 lakh people came for the Mela. This year, as there is no Kumbha Mela this time, more than one crore people might be coming,” she said.
The West Bengal Chief Minister had demanded ‘national mela’ status for Gangasagar Mela earlier as well. In 2021, Mamata Banerjee complained that while the Centre funds the Kumbh Mela, it does not provide any financial assistance for the Gangasagar Mela.
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