Dear MEA, the lotus is not India's National Flower

The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said that the issue of lotus being printed on passports was part of the enhanced security features to identify fake passports and involves using other national symbols as well in rotation.

But on July 10, 2019, the government has said that it has not given the status of 'national flower' to any flower. According to the Economic Times, Union Minister of State for Home Nityananda Rai said in Rajya Sabha that Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has notified 'Tiger' and 'Peacock' as the 'national animal' and 'national bird' respectively, through notifications issued in 2011. "However, no such notification has been issued regarding 'national flower' by MoEF&CC," he said in a written reply to a question.

So if government has not given the status of 'national flower' to lotus, on Thursday Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that "This symbol is our national flower and is part of the enhanced security features to identify fake passports. Apart from lotus, other national symbols will be used on rotation. Symbols are connected with India."

These security features have been introduced as part of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) guidelines, he said.

On Wednesday, Opposition members in Lok Sabha raised the issue of lotus being printed on new passports brought for distribution in Kerala. A Congress MP, during the Zero Hour, had alleged that the move was further saffronisation of the ruling government with the lotus being the election symbol of the BJP.

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