NEW DELHI: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday alleged discrimination being attempted by the Central government over the plan to print orange colour passports, which will not carry the address proof.
“Treating India’s migrant workers like second class citizens is completely unacceptable.
This action demonstrates BJP’s discriminatory mindset,” Gandhi tweeted, while reacting on a news report on the decision of the ministry of external affairs to unveil an orange colour passport without the last page, which includes information about the person’s address for those who require emigration checks.
The Congress also sought to mock the “hug diplomacy” of Modi by posting a video on Twitter.
The Union minister for human resources development Prakash Javdekar, while speaking to reporters at the BJP headquarters, said, “This not only insults PM Narendra Modi, but also a guest. Congress seems to have lost everything. We condemn this. I hope wisdom prevails on them some day.”
Gandhi also said the move shows that the government was treating India's migrant workers as "second class citizens".
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 had said last week.
ECR is mostly required by less skilled workers.
"Treating India's migrant workers like second class citizens is completely unacceptable. This action demonstrates BJP's discriminatory mindset," the Congress president tweeted.
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", the MEA had said.
Passports also may no longer serve as a valid proof of address after the external affairs ministry decided not to print the last page of the travel document with the address of the holder.
(with PTI inputs)