New Delhi, Jan 14: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday attacked Union government over its decision to introduce changes in the Indian passport and end its validity as address proof. Accusing the government of harbouring a ‘discriminatory mindest’, Rahul said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) treating the Indian migrant workers as ‘second class citizen’.
“Treating India’s migrant workers like second class citizens is completely unacceptable. This action demonstrates BJP’s discriminatory mindset,” the Congress president said on Twitter. Gandhi’s reaction came days after External Affairs Ministry decided 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.
“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 existing passports will remain valid till they expire and will be replaced by a new one. However, the ministry has not confirmed a date for issuing the new passports.
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.