Orissa gets a new name: Parliament nod to Odisha

Orissa Map
New Delhi: Orissa will hereafter be called 'Odisha' and the Oriya language will be known as 'Odia' with Parliament giving approval to amendment of the Constitution and also passing the related bill.

The Rajya Sabha passed the Orissa (the Alteration of Name) Bill and adopted the Constitution (113th) Amendment Bill after a brief debate with members from all parties hailing the move as "historic" for people of the state.

Supported by all parties, including the Biju Janta Dal, the Constitution Amendment Bill was adopted by all 169 members present and voting.

Such a bill requires support of at least two-third of members present and voting. Besides, the majority of the strength of the House should be present for voting. The Upper House has a strength of 245 members.

Lok Sabha has already adopted these measures after the Centre received the resolution passed by the state Assembly.

While there was all round support for the measure, BJP and Congress members sought to target Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik charging him with non-performance and heading a government facing scams.

The bills were piloted by Home Minister P Chidambaram. However, the electronic voting system witnessed glitches during the division so much so that even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's vote was also cast wrongly.

Participating in the debate, members said the name change was the process of decolonisation as Britishers had changed the Indian names of cities and states.

Pyarimohan Mohapatra (BJD) said it was a "great moment" for people of the state and added that with the change of name, they are getting back their pride.

R C Khuntia (Cong) rued that the state, which was prosperous once, has become poverty-stricken. He, however, hoped the change of name will fulfil aspirations of people.

He said the state was facing many scams and corruption charges in the present rule.

Rudra Narayan Pany (BJP) charged the Orissa Chief Minister with non-performance and said Patnaik could not speak even the local language. His colleague Chandan Mitra said, "Orissa regains its prestige and sense of history."

Mitra said while India's heritage was revered in many parts of the world, "we have forgotten our own heritage."

There have been many cities and states that have been renamed after independence. These include Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras), Kolkata (Calcutta), Pune (Poona), Kochi (Cochin) and Bangaluru (Banglore).


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