Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday asked the Centre to "rectify" its decision to allot two different colours for passports, saying it amounted to violation of the Fundamental Right to Equality guaranteed to a citizen under the constitution.
In a Facebook post, Vijayan said Articles 14 to 18 explain about a citizen's right to equality and treats all citizens as equal.
As per a Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) statementrecently, 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.
"The decision will discriminate between ordinary workers and educated ones," Vijayan said.
This would lead to a situation wherein those who have not passed the tenth standard would be considered as second class citizens, Vijayan said.
With regard to the decision not to mention family details, including address of passport holders in the last page of the passport, Vijayan said such a passport cannot be used an authentic document for address proof.
A majority of persons going abroad from the country were ordinary workers including those who have not completed tenth standard, he said.
"You can see such persons even in business community .. if separate colour passport is issued to them and they go abroad, it would create an impression that they are second class citizens," he said.
They might even loss the job opportunity, he said. The Centre should "rectify" its decision considering the seriousness of discriminating between its citizens, Vijayan said.
Till now, Indian citizens were given blue coloured passports with the exception of diplomatic and official passports which have red and white covers, respectively.