Passport changes: Rahul Gandhi accuses BJP of bias against migrant workers

Congress President Rahul Gandhi addresses a press conference at AICC. Photo: PTI
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.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel