#MeToo campaign has taken the whole country by storm. After rocking the Bollywood industry, the movement has touched the shores of politics as well with Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar being on the dock. Even as the demand for his resignation is growing, Akbar himself is yet to issue a statement in the matter.
As #MeToo is snowballing in the country, Congress President Rahul Gandhi was asked, on Thursday, about his take on the movement and also on the allegations against MJ Akbar. An unprepared Gandhi, however delivered a very vague answer to the question, saying, “MeToo is a very big issue. I will comment on it in a further press conference."
Interestingly, when Rahul Gandhi was asked the question, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala was seen mumbling something in the Congress President’s ear.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Congress party asked the government to probe the charges against MJ Akbar.
"Union Minister MJ Akbar should either give a satisfactory answer to the allegations or he should resign. We demand an inquiry into the matter," Jaipal Reddy of Congress said.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, the government put the onus on MJ Akbar to respond to the allegations against him.
At least 10 women have named MJ Akbar so far. It began with a post by journalist Priya Ramani, who called out MJ Akbar and accused him of inappropriate behaviour. After her post, several other women spoke out and accused MJ Akbar of sexual harassment. With her tweet, Ramani had shared a link to her 2017 article, wherein she accused him of behaving inappropriately. Though, back then Ramani didn’t name him. However, in her tweet, she outed Akbar and also spilled the beans on why she didn’t reveal his name when she wrote the article.
With growing allegations against MJ Akbar, the demand to expel him is growing.
In her article, Ramani wrote than an editor of a leading publication insisted to interview her in his hotel room, where he offered her a drink and at one point even asked her to sit closer to him. Soon after, she called out Akbar on Twitter, several other journalists followed suit and narrated their stories involving MJ Akbar. Most of the women have detailed incidents wherein the former journalist would call them to his plush hotel room for interviews, offer alcohol and ask/say unwarranted questions and behave inappropriately.