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MJ Akbar submits resignation over sexual harassment allegations: Report

As the #MeToo movement swept social media, multiple women had earlier offered their accounts of alleged sexual harassment by Akbar when he was a journalist

October 14, 2018 / 12:40 PM IST
MJ Akbar | The Minister of State for External Affairs and  Rajya Sabha MP was accused of sexual harassment by several female colleagues. Akbar has denied the

MJ Akbar | The Minister of State for External Affairs and Rajya Sabha MP was accused of sexual harassment by several female colleagues. Akbar has denied the "wild and baseless" allegations and plans to take legal recourse against the women who accused him. (Image: Reuters)

Union Minister MJ Akbar has submitted his resignation to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) via an email on October 14 over allegations of sexual harassment by a number of women journalists, according to a report by News18.

Akbar, a junior minister of foreign affairs, has also sought an appointment with Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj as a courtesy call, the report added. A final call will however be taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A group of journalists on October 13 held a protest expressing solidarity with their women colleagues who have demanded proper implementation of the prevention of sexual harassment act to ensure dignity at the workplace.

The protesting journalists also sought immediate action against those facing allegations of sexual misconduct. They also demanded removal of Akbar from the Union Council of Ministers.

Akbar, who was on a foreign tour, had returned to New Delhi on October 14.

Close

Replying to a volley of questions from reporters at the airport, the Minister of State for External Affairs said he would issue a statement later.

On October 10, days after allegation of sexual harassment against Akbar first surfaced, Congress said Akbar must either offer a satisfactory explanation on the allegations or resign immediately. The party had also demanded an inquiry into his conduct.

Earlier, when asked about these charges against her ministerial colleague and whether there will be an internal inquiry against him, Swaraj evaded the question from reporters.

Multiple women had earlier offered their accounts of alleged sexual harassment by Akbar when he was a journalist as the #MeToo movement swept social media, bringing to fore sordid tales of sexual harassment by influential men in different walks of lives.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had indicated it would take a clear stand on allegations of sexual harassment against Akbar once he explains his position upon his return.

While the BJP had maintained a studied silence on the matter so far, party sources said the charges against him are serious, and his continuance as a minister is no longer guaranteed.

 (With inputs from PTI)
Moneycontrol News
first published: Oct 14, 2018 12:32 pm
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