Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has disfavoured Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee government’s proposal for renaming West Bengal as ‘Bangla’, saying it would leave for ‘confusion’ with Bangladesh. Asked about the proposal to change the name of West Bengal, Hasina told reporters at a reception hosted by Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi on Thursday night that “the name of Bangla can leave scope for creating confusion with Bangladesh. Why have such a name?’’
She said West Bengal has a separate history and tradition. “If the name is changed, how will it introduce itself before the international community with its distinct identity? Hasina’s comments are in sync with the Indian External Affairs Ministry which too does not favour the name change to “Bangla” because of the possibility of confusion with Bangladesh.
The Indian Home Ministry had sought the External Affairs Ministry’s opinion on Mamata government’s proposal and is yet to take a final call on the issue. A delegation of Trinamool Congress lawmakers had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi three months ago and urged him to help approve the change of name for West Bengal. The Bharatiya Janata Party unit in West Bengal opposes the name change proposal.