New Delhi: The lotus symbol on newly printed Indian passports is becoming a hotbed of controversy ever since the issue was raised by the Oppostion in the parliament.
A day after Opposition raised the issue of lotus being printed on new passports in the Lok Sabha, the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said it was part of the enhanced security features to identify fake passports and involves using other national symbols as well on rotation.
Raising this issue of lotus being printed on new passports brought for distribution in Kozhikode in Kerala during the Zero Hour, M K Raghavan of the Congress said the matter has been highlighted by one of the newspapers and alleged that this was "further saffronisation" of the government establishment with the lotus being the election symbol of the BJP.
Asked about the issue, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, "This symbol is our national flower and is part of the enhanced security features to identify fake passports."
These security features have been introduced as part of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines, he said.
"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 national flower or national animal," he said.
(With inputs from PTI.)