Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar, who is facing allegations of sexual harassment by several women, will not cut short his foreign tour, reports said. The Union Minister will return back to India on Friday as per scheduled trip. Opposition parties including the Congress and Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM have demanded that either Akbar should tender his resignation or the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Center should give a satisfactory answer on serious allegations.
At least 8 women have come forward to level allegations of sexual harassment at the hands the minister in the wake of the #MeToo movement in the country after Bollywood actor Tanushree Dutta made similar allegations against veteran actor Nana Patekar.
However, Akbar’s position in the government is untenable and something big on him can be expected soon, ANI reported. Earlier, a report said Akbar will cut short his visit and return back on Thursday to present his views before the government. Reports also suggested that the serious charges levelled against him by senior journalists have been discussed by the top brass of BJP.
MJ Akbar may step down till his name is cleared in the cases of sexual harassment. The resignation of MJ Akbar is expected to come once he returns from his foreign trip, certain media reports suggested.
The Congress on Wednesday demanded MJ Akbar’s resignation, saying that he should resign or give a satisfactory reply on sexual harassment charges levelled against him. The party also demanded an inquiry into the allegations.
Meanwhile, the CPI(M) has also sharpened its attack on Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar and the BJP. The party questions how many more women need to speak up before the government breaks its silence on sexual harassment allegations against their minister. BJP’s routine support for rapists, sexual offenders and victim shaming makes a mockery of its Beti Bachao slogan, the party said on Twitter.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is under attack from the Opposition over the Rafale deal, dodged questions on MJ Akbar recently. In an interview to CNN-News18, she said that she is not the correct person to comment on the sexual harassment allegations against the Union minister.