Monday, September 05, 2005

Trident returns, lotus out

New Delhi/Bhopal, Sept. 5:

It's all right to flaunt your trident, but the lotus will have to take leave.

The lotus controversy that rocked Madhya Pradesh over accusations that the BJP-led regime was trying to pass off its election symbol as the national flower in school textbooks yesterday resulted in an Election Commission directive to remove it.

The poll panel ordered the state government to replace the relevant portions within two weeks. The order followed complaints from the Opposition Congress.

The commission, which had summoned the chief secretary and principal secretary (education) on August 24, also sought a compliance report within two weeks.

The controversy had stalled the Assembly last month as Opposition legislators staged protests and accused the Babulal Gaur government of "deliberate and gross misuse of official machinery" to "saffronise" education.

The exit order on the flower came barely a day after another symbol of Sangh parivar activists got a fresh lease of public life.

The Gaur government has revoked the ban on public display of small tridents, official sources said in state capital Bhopal. The order came a day before the VHP's "trishul deeksha" (trident initiation) programme in Jabalpur yesterday.

The sources said the chief minister had directed the home department to denotify the ban imposed in 2002.

View Source Here (Telegraph)