Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government on Tuesday proposed to rename West Bengal as "Bengal", dropping "West" from its name, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee said.
"For the sake of the people of the state, its heritage and culture as well as to promote and protect its interests at the national level, we have proposed to rename West Bengal as Bengal in English and 'Banga' or Bangla in Bengali," Chatterjee told the media.
In Bengali, the state is currently referred to as "Paschim Banga" or "Paschim Bangla".
Chatterjee said a special session of the assembly will be convened to discuss the renaming of the state.
"The assembly session begins on August 26. We will put forth the proposal of renaming the state for discussions.
"On August 29 and 30, we will discuss the issue and urge all to accept the new name," added Chatterjee.
The government in 2011 too had undertaken a similar exercise, adopting "Paschimbanga" as the name of the state.
Apart from the Trinamool Congress government, the Opposition parties, led by the CPM, at the time had also supported the move. Prior to that, the previous Left Front government led by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, had also raised the issue. The reason, officials explained, was that at every state-level conclave, speakers from West Bengal were inevitably the last. "The speakers at the end tend to get less time to present their views. By the time our speakers actually get the opportunity to talk, every one is tired and the event gets wrapped up. quickly. This has been an issue faced by us for a long time,' said a state government official.