New Delhi: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has joined issue with the government over the proposed orange cover passports for Indians who wish to emigrate, saying it was "discriminatory". Currently, barring diplomatic and official passports, all Indian passports have blue cover.
"Treating India's migrant workers like second class citizens is completely unacceptable. This action demonstrates BJP's discriminatory mindset," Mr Gandhi tweeted this morning.
The foreign ministry's decision was announced last week. It also included a plan to do away with the last page of passports, which includes address and emigration status of the passport holder.
"As the last page of the passport would not be printed now, 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," foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said on Friday.
ECR or "Emigration Check Required" category is for applicants who haven't finished school and are travelling abroad for work to a group of 18 countries, most of them in the Gulf. They have to get an 'Emigration clearance' certificate from the office of Protector of Emigrants before leaving India.
Most nations veer between black, blue, green and red for cover colour of passports, although cover colours can differ for their diplomats.