When all Union Ministers are trying to evade questions regarding sexual harassment allegations against Minister of State (External Affairs) MJ Akbar, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Friday came in support of #MeToo and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should come out and speak on Akbar’s allegations. So far, 9 women, journalists have called out MJ Akbar, who has held various positions in multiple news media organisations, including The Telegraph, Asian Age and India Today.
First to call out MJ Akbar was a former journalist with India Today, The Indian Express and Mint, Priya Ramani, who wrote about him a year ago in Vogue, and now when the #MeToo gained momentum she made it clear that the article in Vogue was about MJ Akbar.
Soon after Priya’s Tweet, journalist Shutapa Paul also called out MJ Akbar for harassing her during the latter’s stint at India Today. She alleged that he made several advances, including squeezing her elbow, inviting her to hotels at odd hours, threatening her and forcing her to drink.
After, this 2 journalists, author Ghazala Wahab shared her ordeal through a news web portal and said that Akbar held her by her waist with his thumbs rubbing the sides of her breast.
Saba Naqvi is another complainant who spoke up against MJ Akbar. She accused the junior minister of sexual harassment saying that most of the time, minister was looking at her chest than her face.
Pressure is mounting on the BJP to clear its stand on the minister with the Opposition demanding a satisfactory answer or his resignation. Yesterday, Union Minister Smriti Irani, on being asked about Abkar’s accusations, put the onus on the minister to respond to allegations, saying it was for the minister to speak.