MJ Akbar, Union Minister, came back India; Narendra Modi government’s final call likely on his continuation
Union Minister MJ Akbar, who has been alleged of sexual harassment by 7 women journalists, came back India from his Nigeria visit.
In the last few days when several women journalists, who worked with former editor, leveled the allegations of sexual harassment, molestation and sexual misconduct, Akbar, the minister of state for external affairs, was in Nigeria.
As he returned to India, government sources say a final call is likely on whether he will remain as minister of state for external affairs or will be removed.
According to sources in the BJP, the charges against him are serious and his continuation cannot be guaranteed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take final call.
However, some people in the BJP is arguing that there is no legal case against him and the allegations are very old. And there can be some political repercussions of axing him just before crucial elections and the coming Lok Sabha elections.
Yet, several union ministers including Maneka Gandhi, Uma Bharti supported the victims of sexual harassment. Maneka Gandhi also demanded a probe into the allegations.
Reacting to the #MeToo movement, Union Textile Minister Smriti Iran said “Anybody who is speaking out should in no way be shamed, victimized or mocked”.
On the allegations against Akbar, she said “I think that it is for the gentleman concerned to issue a statement, not for me as I was not present there”.
However, Union Minister, Ramdas Athawale said ‘MJ Akbar should resign if charges are proved true”.