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Centre rejects Mamata Banerjee govt's demand to change name of West Bengal to 'Bangla'

The Mamata Banerjee government had last year sent a proposal to the Centre for changing the name of West Bengal to Bangla.

Centre rejects Mamata Banerjee govt's demand to change name of West Bengal to 'Bangla'

NEW DELHI: In yet another setback for the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal, the Centre on Wednesday rejected its demand for changing the name of the state to Bengal.

The Mamata Banerjee government had earlier sent a proposal to the Centre calling for changing the name of West Bengal to Bangla.

Speaking on the issue in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State (MoS) Nityanand Rai said that the Centre has not cleared the name 'Bangla' proposed by the West Bengal government.

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Rai made this remarks while responding to a question asked by TMC Rajya Sabha MP Ritabrata Banerjee in the Upper House of Parliament.

It may be recalled that on July 26, 2018, the West Bengal state assembly had passed a resolution to change the name to 'Bangla' from West Bengal.

The resolution was then sent to the Union Home Ministry for approval.

Shifting focus to another demand by the opposition parties to scrap the sedition law, the Minister said that there is no such proposal to scrap the provision.

Rai said, ''There is no proposal to scrap the provision under the IPC dealing with the offence of sedition.''

Rai told the lawmakers in the Upper House that there is no proposal as yet to scrap the Colonial-era sedition law under which inciting hatred against the government is a punishable offence.

"There is no proposal to scrap the provision under the Indian Penal Code dealing with the offence of sedition,'' the Minister said, adding that ''there is a need to retain the provision to effectively combat anti-national, secessionist and terrorist elements."

Rai made these remarks while responding to a question raised by Telangana MP Banda Prakash. 

The sedition law states that whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government shall be jailed without or with fine.