Rosy picture on lotus passport
The Centre on Thursday clarified that it had introduced the lotus symbol on passports as an additional security feature, after being accused of trying to use the document as a political tool.
“It is just one of the national symbols that will be used for this purpose on a rotational basis,” foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said, seeking to quell speculation about the passport doubling as a campaign tool of the BJP.
“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.
Other national symbols will also be used on a rotational basis, he said. “There is a basket of symbols. If it is lotus this month, it will be something else next month.”
Congress MP from Kozhikode M.V. Raghavan had raised the issue in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, stating that a lotus is printed inside a rectangle on the page where the passport officer’s signature and seal is put.
In January 2018, the Modi government had sought to introduce an orange-coloured passport for those who belong to the Emmigration Check Required category.