The Opposition has demanded the resignation of M.J. Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs, following allegations of sexual harassment against him by a senior journalist in a tweet on October 8, when he was an editor, as part of the #MeToo movement.
Congress lawmaker, Jaipal Reddy reportedly said, “Union minister MJ Akbar should either give a satisfactory answer to the allegations or he should resign. We demand an inquiry into the matter.”
While demanding resignation of Akbar, Ghanshyam Tiwari, spokesperson of the Samajwadi Party, said “The allegations against Mr. Akbar are the Harvey Weinstein moment for India. The Modi government talks of beti bachao, beti padhao (save the girl child, educate her) but the people of India has built a movement which seeks justice for women. Mr. Akbar should resign.”
Maneka Gandhi, union minister for women and child development, is the first BJP leader to call for probe against the former editor. “There should be an investigation. Men in position of power often do this. This applies to media, politics and seniors working in companies. Now that women have started speaking out, we should take it seriously,” Gandhi further said.
“The Minister concerned needs to speak as silence is not an option. Prime Minister Modi also needs to speak up,” Congress leader Manish Tewari said.
Akbar is yet to respond to controversy.