Kolkata: On most things they do not even agree to disagree. But Mamata Banerjee`s government and the Marxist-led Left Front have found an issue that gets an eager nod from both - the renaming of West Bengal.
A day after the Trinamool Congress-led government said it was contemplating a name change for the state, Left Front chairman Biman Bose on Thursday told mediapersons they would support the plan.
"Obviously," Bose replied when asked whether they would back the move.
He, of course, promptly mentioned that it was the Left Front government - in power in the state from 1977-2011 - which had initiated such a move.
"This move was initiated by the fifth Left Front government (1996-2001). The discussions continued in the sixth Left Front government. Papers were prepared, but there were certain objections raised by certain individuals. Opinion was sought from all. Then it was decided to place the matter before the central government," said Bose.
He could not explain why the Left Front could not finally rename the state.
"Neither has the matter been discussed in today`s Left Front meeting, nor have I ascertained that fact from those who were in our government," he said.
Banerjee`s Trinamool Congress and the Left Front - which have been at loggerheads for years, often to the detriment of the state - are also on the same wavelength on the reason for necessitating the change.
And it`s more a practical reason than an emotional one.
"Because West Bengal starts with `W`, our turn comes last at meetings where all states are involved. So `W` is to be omitted. But I can`t say what will happen now and what the new name will be," said Bose, also state secretary of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).
The state cabinet on Wednesday moved a proposal in this regard.
Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee said: "Since the name of the state starts with W, our representatives get to speak only at the fag end of any function when most of the audience has left.
"To do away with the problem, the Chief Minister (Mamata Banerjee) has suggested the name be changed.
"A proposal has been moved in this regard in the cabinet and the chief secretary asked to collect all views and suggestions. It`s both a sensitive and humanitarian issue, so all suggestions will be given due consideration," added Chatterjee.