A war of words broke out between the Congress and the BJP on November 9 over a lotus flower appearing in the logo for the G20 summit that will be held in Delhi next year under India’s presidency.
Congress communication chief Jairam Ramesh tweeted that it was ‘shocking’ that the lotus, which is the ruling party’s election symbol, was used as part of the G20 logo. The BJP hit back by pointing out that the lotus had been declared as the national flower in 1950 and accused the Congress of ‘denigrating’ every symbol.
“Over 70 years ago, Nehru rejected the proposal to make Congress flag the flag of India. Now, BJP’s election symbol has become [the] official logo for India’s presidency of G20! While shocking, we know by now that Mr Modi & BJP won’t lose any opportunity to promote themselves shamelessly!” Mr. Ramesh tweeted.
Responding to him on Twitter, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the lotus was declared the national flower in 1950 by the then-Congress government even before Mr. Ramesh was born in 1954. “God alone knows why the Congress party chooses to denigrate & undermine every national symbol even as it is desperately out to ‘jodo’ [unite] itself,” Mr. Puri tweeted.
In another tweet, he added, “Congress leaders should carefully listen to #PMModi Ji on why Lotus is part of #G20Logo. It symbolises India’s ancient heritage, faith & thought — a symbol of hope in such tough times. Lord Buddha’s message for freedom from war, Mahatma Gandhi’s solutions in the face of violence.”
The attack by the Congress came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the logo, theme and website for India’s upcoming presidency of the grouping. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, the G20 logo draws inspiration from the vibrant colours of India’s national flag — saffron, white, green, and blue. It juxtaposes planet Earth with the lotus, India’s national flower, reflecting growth amid challenges.
India will assume the presidency of the powerful grouping on December 1, taking over from the current chair Indonesia. The Group of 20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s major developed and developing economies, comprising Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S. and the European Union.