NEW DELHI: The Union Home Ministry has issued an advisory to the States and Union Territories to ask people to present books or Khadi handkerchief instead of a bouquet to the Prime Minister during his visits.
The move comes after a recommendation to the effect by the Prime Minister’s Office.
“It is desired by the Competent Authority that no bouquet may be presented to the Prime Minister during his tours within India. At best, one flower along with a khadi handkerchief or a book may be presented to welcome the dignitary,” reads the advisory.
The Home Ministry advisory further said, “All States and UTs are requested to suitably sensitise all concerned to ensure strict compliance of the instructions.”
The move comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had during one of his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme on All India Radio urged that the practice of gifting bouquets to each other should stop and instead books should be presented. Modi had even expressed preference for khadi objects as the same could provide employment to a number of people and shelf life of such objects could be more compared to bouquets. The PMO subsequently directed the Home Ministry to issue a suitable advisory in keeping with the PM’s wish, sources said.
The Special Protection Group that provides security cover to the serving PM, former PMs and their immediate family members follows a strict protocol of screening all gift items like bouquets before being presented.