A day after the members of Opposition parties' in Lok Sabha accused the BJP-led government of using passports as a political tool, the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday clarified that the purpose of printing lotus on the new passports is to enhanced security features. The national symbol is printed to identify fake passports.
The ministry also said that other national symbols will also be involved on rotation. Clarifying MEA's stand, foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said, “It is just one of the national symbols that will be used for this purpose on a rotational basis.”
“The lotus is our national flower and this is part of the enhanced security feature to identify fake passports. Frankly, we did not want to disclose this but now that a question has come up we have to say this. These new security features have been introduced as part of the International Civil Aviation Organisation guidelines,” Kumar added.
"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," he said.
Raising the 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 established with the lotus being the election symbol of the BJP.