West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday raised objection over the use of lotus in the G20 logo as India is going to host the global event. The summit will be held in Delhi on September 9 and 10 next year.
She said the controversy over the G20 logo is "not a non-issue" but she will not raise it as the matter, if discussed outside, may not augur well for the country. The CM also contended that the Centre could have chosen any national symbol other than the lotus for the summit's logo, as the flower also represents a political party.
Congress slams Centre for the logo
The Congress alleged that the Central government used the flower in the G20 logo to promote the BJP. However, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh defended the decision by saying that the flower is part of the country's cultural identity.
Banerjee, before leaving for New Delhi, told reporters at the city airport, "I have also seen it (the lotus logo).
As it is a matter related to our country, we (TMC) are not saying anything. It does not augur well for the country if the issue gets discussed outside."
She left for the national capital to attend the meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the preparatory process for the G20 summit in 2023.
"It cannot be denied that the national flower is also the logo of a political party. There are so many other national symbols which could have been used instead. Even if I don't raise this matter (in Delhi), others may," Banerjee, who is also the TMC supremo, said.
"I have seen it but did not say much. It is not a non-issue. It is an important issue and they (Centre) must think over the matter," she added. India has assumed the Presidency of the G-20 grouping for one year.
A PMO release said that the logo, which was unveiled last month, draws inspiration from the vibrant colours of the national flag.
"It juxtaposes planet Earth with the lotus, India's national flower that reflects growth amid challenges...The Earth reflects India's pro-planet approach to life, one in perfect harmony with nature," it said.
Banerjee took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for holding a roadshow in Gujarat when the Assembly election was on in the state and described him and BJP as "special" for not abiding by the rules set by the Election Commission.
On BJP's claims of a "clean sweep" in Gujarat election, she said that if the prime minister holds a rally on the same day as the poll the "result was quite expected".
“We - the political parties have to abide by the rules of the EC. Roadshows by parties are banned on polling days. But they (Modi and the BJP) are special...If the PM goes and holds a rally on election day, what do you expect...They may even score 100 out of 100. But is this fair?" she asked.
Modi allegedly held a mega roadshow on Monday on the way to cast his vote at a polling station in Ahmedabad in the second and last phase of the Assembly election in Gujarat.
About her visit to New Delhi, the Trinamool Congress supremo said a meeting with the prime minister "may not be possible".
“On Monday, the (G-20) meeting will continue till night. Tuesday early morning I will go to Ajmer and Pushkar. On Wednesday I will meet TMC MPs and return to Kolkata. So, I think this time a meeting with the PM may not be possible.” she said.
(With PTI input)