Political Football Over Mamata Banerjee's Logo For Bengal

The logo is the Bengali equivalent of the alphabet B embossed on a globe. In recent weeks, it was seen all over Kolkata during the U17 football World Cup

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Political Football Over Mamata Banerjee's Logo For Bengal

Biswa Bangla logo was designed by Mamata Banerjee and given to BBMC

Kolkata:  West Bengal's politics has suddenly become all about Biswa Bangla - a highly visible logo across Bengal these days - of a company the state government claims is its own, but BJP leader Mukul Roy said at a public meeting yesterday was owned by Abhishek Banerjee, a Trinamool parliamentarian and nephew of Mamata Banerjee.

The logo is the Bengali equivalent of the alphabet B embossed on a globe. In recent weeks, it was seen all over Kolkata during the U17 football world cup, including on top of the statue of two muscular legs designed by Mamata Banerjee positioned outside the stadium where the football matches were held. 

For the second day in a row, Bengal's Principal Secretary, Home, Atri Bhattacharya, restated today Biswa Bangla - the company and the logo - belonged to the state government.

By his side was Rajiva Sinha, Additional Chief Secretary, Micro Small and Medium Enterprise and Textile Department. Biswa Bangla is an MSME. Both officers came to office on a Saturday when Mamata Banerjee was in London to clear the air.

But the fog hung low. Biswa Bangla Marketing Corporation (BBMC), the two officers said, was the government's, the logo designed by Ms Banerjee and given to the BBMC registered as a private limited company on 31.12.2014.

But the officers also confirmed reports that Abhishek Banerjee had applied to register the trademark in his name.  "The CM created the logo. May be someone close to her registered the logo," the officers said, adding, "At the trademark registry we found Abhishek Banerjee had applied for it. We were in touch and withdrew his application"

A patent registration company, CJ Associates, sent a letter to the registrar of trademarks saying, "the applicant is no longer willing to proceed with the impugned application and desires to withdraw the same."

Will the state take legal steps against Mukul Roy for his "false and baseless" statements? The officers said, that's not their domain.

But Trinamool sources say Abhishek Banerjee will send legal notice to Mukul Roy. In response, Roy said, "Wait till after the Gujarat elections. I will reveal more.  And since they are planning legal steps, my reply will also be given legally."

The two officers said Biswa Bangla is a private company, its shares owned by three secretaries, including Rajiva Sinha, in MSME department. It has two private directors of its board, industrialist Harsh Neotia, the other Rudra Chatterjee.

"Biswa Bangla Marketing Corporation runs shops that sell heritage goods with the Biswa Bangla logo. But now other departments of the government are also using the logo," Mr Sinha said.

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"Biswa Bangla has become a brand now," said Atri Bhattacharya, "for the state."

Biswa Bangla in English means Global Bengal. Kolkata now even has a Biswa Bangla Sarani.
 

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