The Government on Thursday clarified that lotus was being printed on new passports for enhanced security.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that lotus is a symbol of India’s national flower and added that it was part of the enhanced security features to identify fake passports.

He further said that apart from the lotus symbol, other national symbols will be used as well on rotation.

“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,” Kumar said.

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

The Government’s explanation comes a day after Opposition members raised the issue in Lok Sabha.

Raising the issue of lotus being printed on new passports brought for distribution in Kozhikode in Kerala, during the Zero Hour, MK 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.