The BJP on Monday objected to the West Bengal Assembly’s resolution on changing the state’s name to Bengal. The party also accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of “political opportunism” for her government’s decision to defer a session to ratify the GST Bill.
BJP national secretary Sidharth Nath Singh said the reasons cited by Mamata for changing the state’s name to ‘Bengal’ in English and ‘Bangla’ in Bengali were not convincing. “The reasons advanced by CM Mamata Banerjee do not appear convincing,” he said.
The BJP’s argument is that the name West Bengal, as distinct from the Muslim-dominated East Bengal, which in in 1947 became a province of the newly created nation of Pakistan, had been the contribution of Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee.
Singh said Mookerjee had opposed Muslim League’s proposal to include the entire province of Bengal within Pakistan. “There is a historical context in which the state was born. The name is a significant part of the idea behind the creation of the state,” said Singh.
The proposal to change the state’s name would require the Parliament’s nod.
Singh also criticised the state government’s decision to defer the ratification of the GST Bill.
“After supporting the GST Bill in Parliament, the Mamata government had listed it for discussion in the Assembly on Monday.
Withdrawing it shows political opportunism,” he said.
He also rejected Mamata’s charge that the Narendra Modi government is crushing the federal structure.
“The Centre has already given Rs 2.52 lakh crore in the form of central taxes and grants over its share of 13th Finance Commission. Her claim is nothing but a cover-up for her government’s failures in West Bengal,” he said.