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West Bengal to be renamed as Pashchim Banga

August 20, 2011 - Kolkata

A committee comprising West Bengal's Commerce Minister Partha Chatterjee and other opposition party leaders has unanimously proposed that the state of West Bengal be renamed as "Paschim Banga".

The decision was taken at an all-party meeting held here on Friday.

The initiative to rename the state has been taken keeping the need to gain administrative advantages.

Due to the state"s name beginning with the alphabet W (West Bengal), its name slipped to the bottom at all-India conferences, seminars and meetings. The letter "W"-the 23rd letter in the English alphabet-makes the state"s representatives the last speakers in Parliament sessions, seminars and conferences.

"All of us wanted for a change (of West Bengal state"s name) to get the preference on the historical reasons on one hand, the other hand to get the administrative advantages," said Chatterjee.

He further added that the change in the state's nomenclature would also have an effect upon various other Indian provinces, apart from historical reasons.

"Other states like UP (Uttar Pradesh), like Rajasthan, like your Tamil Nadu all of them, even in the Punjab, will get an affect, at least in the administrative purpose, apart from historical reasons," said Chatterjee.

He later added that a resolution would be moved in the state assembly for adoption, which would be then referred to the Centre.

The issue was firstly raised during the chief ministership of the late S S Ray in 1974. It was again raised in 1999 during the tenure of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.


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