New Delhi, Oct 12: Though there is a clear division in the party over allegations against minister of state for external affairs M J Akbar for sexual exploitation of women journalist as an editor but the government is still of the opinion that removing him from the ministry will not help in any manner rather it will open floodgates. Meanwhile the MeToo campaign against him has intensified with more and more people accusing him of sexual misconduct.
So this has been the reason that Akbar has been asked to complete his visit to African nations and there was no need to cut it short. Well placed sources in the government said that the moment Akbar is removed from the government political massacre will start and one after another unsubstantiated allegation may start coming up.
They are also arguing that any decision on Akbar may also lead to political blackmailing and political rivals might use such things against any leaders to sully their image and fear for demand for money is also likely go unabated. There is every possibility of such thing happening. Sources said that perception about the MeToo campaign is that it is confined to elite section of society in New Delhi and it does not have its impact on masses. Forget about masses, the impact of MeToo campaign is not even in the entire Delhi. So there is no need for any jerk reaction on the issue.
Moreover, there is no formal complain against M J Akbar and social media campaign is not admissible in the court of law as argued. "People joining anyone on drinks and complaining sexual exploitation after 20 years is little unreasonable. I have seen people latching on him in one of birthday parties in a five star hotel in Delhi might be having second thoughts after 20 years to complain against him but they must lodge a formal complain against him if they were really exploited," said a former journalist who does not want to be named.
Sources said that any jerk reaction will rather harm the party and the government more as they feel that some other issue will come up and this will peter out and forgotten. But there are some people and group in the government who are opposed to Akbar continuing in government but at the moment the earlier view is prevailing. They are arguing that it will reflect on the Narendra Modi government.
But people defending Akbar in the government are saying that it is not possible to prove these allegations and it is not going to work politically. So Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi who asked for investigation in the matter is keeping silent as she was pulled up for taking the different line from the government. There was a stated view from the government not to respond and let Akbar take a call on the issue. "The government will not respond as it does not pertain to his conduct as the minister in the government. It has nothing to do with the government it has to do with him as an editor," said sources.