A day after Opposition members raised the issue of lotus motifs being printed on new passports in the Lok Sabha, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Thursday said that the move was part of the enhanced security features to identify fake passports. It also said that other national symbols will be used on a rotational basis.
“This symbol is our national flower and is part of the enhanced security features to identify fake passports,” said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. “Apart from the Lotus, other national symbols will be used on rotation. Right now it is lotus and then next month there will be something else. These are symbols connected with India such as a national flower or national animal.”
On Wednesday, Congress leader M K Raghavan had raised the issue during the Zero Hour and said that new passports brought for distribution in Kozhikode had lotus motifs printed on them. He said that the matter was highlighted by one of the newspapers and alleged that this move was “further saffronisation” as the lotus is the election symbol of the BJP.
“I urge the government to withdraw these booklets and initiate an inquiry into this,” Raghavan said, adding that lotus is printed inside a rectangle on the page where the passport officer’s signature and seal are seen.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, leader of Opposition, had demanded a reply on the issue from External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar who was sitting in the House.
(With PTI inputs)