In the past couple of days, a number of women have taken cue from the #MeToo movement and spoken up against the alleged harassment they faced in the past by MJ Akbar, when he was working as a journalist.
A total of six women have come out in social media and accused the present Minister of State for External Affairs of misbehaving with them in the past. Now sensing an opportunity to make the issue political, the Congress party has jumped into this issue, asking the government to hold an inquiry into the matter.
"Union Minister M J 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.
The demand of Congress comes a day External Affairs (EAM) Minister Sushma Swaraj, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi and MEA sources refused to comment on the allegations leveled against the minister. First it was the EAM, who chose to walk away when questioned on MJ Akbar.
It was then followed by a similar quiet stance by Maneka Gandhi. When the Minister of Women & Child Development was asked to comment on this matter, all she said was "I have got no comment on this."
Finally, the MEA sources also refused to comment on the issue, indicating that the matter is of a 'personal nature', and the incidents mentioned are of the time before he was part of the government.
MJ Akbar is accused by as many as six women of harassment when he used to work as a journalist. It all began with a journalist named Priya Ramani, who had initially in 2017 not named the minister while narrating her horror. But this time around, she named MJ Akbar.
It was then followed by many other journalists narrating their stories involving MJ Akbar. Most of the women 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.