New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday attacked the BJP-led Union government over reports that passports may no longer serve as the holder’s address proof, saying the decision shows the ruling party’s “discriminatory mindset".
Gandhi said the move shows that the government was treating India’s migrant workers as “second class citizens". “Treating India’s migrant workers like second class citizens is completely unacceptable. This action demonstrates BJP’s discriminatory mindset," the Congress president tweeted.
His reaction follows a decision by the External Affairs Ministry to not print the address of the holder on the last page of a passport, effectively meaning that the travel document may no longer serve as a valid proof of address. The last page of passports include the name of the father or the legal guardian, the names of the holder’s mother, spouse and their address.
“As the last page of the passport would not be printed now, the passport holders with ECR (Emigration Check Required) status would be issued a passport with orange passport jacket and those with non-ECR status would continue to get a blue passport," an MEA statement read.
The recommendations of a three-member panel, comprising officials from the External Affairs Ministry and the Women and Child Development Ministry, were accepted and it was decided that the last page of passports and other travel documents issued under the Passports Act, 1967, and Passport Rules, 1980, “would no longer be printed", it said.