Kolkata: They may have sharp differences over development or governance, but lawmakers in West Bengal unanimously voted on Thursday to change the name of the state to Bangla.

In August 2016, the Trinamool Congress had passed a similar resolution to rename the state, but back then, it was proposed that West Bengal will get three different names in English, Hindi and Bengali—Bengal, Bangal and Bangla, respectively. The opposition parties, primarily the Left, had opposed the idea of having multiple names, prompting chief minister Mamata Banerjee to describe their stand as a “historic blunder".

However, the centre didn’t approve the proposal, and asked the state to decide for itself one name for all languages, Banerjee said at the assembly on Thursday.

Prior to 2016, the state’s legislative assembly had passed a proposal twice to change the name of the state to Bangla—once in 1999, under the Left rule and, again in 2011, after Banerjee took office as the chief minister. The name of the state can formally change only after the centre signs off on it.

Banerjee always wanted the state to be referred to as Bengal in English, but in the end she had to settle for Bangla. The decision to take Bangla as the new name was made in September last. The Trinamool Congress chief pushed for the change in name of the state to position it higher up the list of Indian states, as West Bengal would always appear at the bottom, alphabetically.

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