Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday clarified with regard to the printing of lotus symbol on new passports, a day after the Opposition raised the issue in the Lok Sabha. The MEA said lotus was among the national symbols that are being printed on new passports as part of enhanced security features to tackle the problem of fake passports. It is just that lotus is the first of the national symbols that will be used in rotation, the ministry stated.
It may be noted here that lotus is also the election symbol of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre.
Congress MP MK Raghavan raised the issue in the Lok Sabha during Zero Hour yesterday. He said such passports with lotus printed on them have been brought for distribution in Kozhikode, Kerala. Raghavan said the matter was brought to notice by a newspaper report and alleged that the move was “further saffronisation” of the government establishment.
Reacting to the charge, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar today said, “This symbol is our national flower and is part of the enhanced security features to identify fake passports.”
The officials said the new security features were brought in in accordance of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines.