#MeToo: First reaction from a BJP minister on MJ Akbar; an action in offing?
At last a version has indeed come from a BJP leader on the infamous MJ Akbar who is being blamed by many female scribes for molestation and sexual harassment as the #MeToo movement kicks up a major storm
New Delhi, News24 Bureau, Oct 11: finally a BJP minister had the guts to speak up on the #MeToo issue stirred by a senior female journalist for naming and shaming Union Minister MJ Akbar. The issues and cases which would have otherwise died a natural death are now being raked up as part of the #MeToo movement.
"The question is not about resignation. Question is when I accuse someone it should be proved. Every woman has a right to accuse and investigation should also be done. Women have presented their versions, men also have the right to present their version," said Rta Bahuguna Joshi, who was earlier in the Congress, and later joined the BJP.
The Congress said on Wednesday that Union minister M J Akbar must either offer a satisfactory explanation on the allegations of sexual harassment against him or resign immediately.The party had also demanded an inquiry into his conduct.As the #MeToo campaign gathered momentum in India, some women journalists have come out and accused Akbar, a former editor and now the minister of state for external affairs, of sexually harassing them during his stint as a journalist.Congress spokesperson S Jaipal Reddy, in a press conference, said, "I think Mr M J Akbar must either offer a satisfactory explanation or resign forthwith. How can he be in the ministry with serious allegations being levelled against him by responsible journalists who worked with him. Let there be an inquiry into it. We demand an inquiry into M J Akbar's conduct." Reddy also questioned Akbar's boss and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's studied silence on the issue, saying she is evading responsibility and is not prepared to comment on her subordinate.
Many senior female journalists are sharing their #MeToo moments with MJ Akbar.
According to the latest news pouring in Akbar has been asked to cut-short his Nigeria visit and come back to India. It is being whispered in the corridors of power that an action is in the offing. But till now it's mere speculation.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is on a visit to France had made a passing reference and without naming MJ Akbar had said that women had a right to speak out about any injustice done to them.