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Treating India's Migrant Workers Like 2nd Class Citizens Completely Unacceptable: Rahul Gandhi

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| January 14 , 2018 , 20:08 IST

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday slammed the recent central government move on changing the colour of the last page of official Indian passports, which would indicate migrant status.

"Treating India's migrant workers like second class citizens is completely unacceptable. This action demonstrates BJP’s discriminatory mindset," Gandhi tweeted.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday announced the discontinuation of the last page of the passport booklet which contained details such as the passport holder's father, mother, address etc, and replaced it with coloured jackets.

Passports for citizens who have Emigration Check Required (ECR) status will have orange cover jackets while those already having emigration clearance will receive the traditional dark blue jackets.

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“As the last page of the passport would not be printed now, the passport holders with ECR status would be issued a passport with orange colour passport jacket and those with non-ECR status would continue to get a blue passport,” said the MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Friday.

Passport applicants who have not passed Class 10 are given passports with the ECR category, which means if they want to travel abroad for work to a group of 18 countries they are first required to obtain an ‘Emigration clearance’ certificate before they can leave India.

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Senior government officials also viewed that a passport cover which stigmatised the holder visibly as not being well-educated may not be helpful and worse, make them easy prey for unscrupulous elements.

The decision to remove the last page of the passport, making the passport unacceptable as a proof of address, was made based on recommendations from a panel of MEA and Ministry of Women and Child Development officials.

However, no confirmed date has been given for the start of issuing of the new passports. Till then the old passports would remain valid till their typical expiry date.