Government not to respond in MJ Akbar's case; will wait for him to clarify in individual capacity
New Delhi, Oct 9: Many heads have already rolled with the social media flooded with the 'MeToo Campaign' against sexual harassment. Minister of State for external affairs M J Akbar too has been alleged of sexual harassment by one of the journalists named Priya Ramani. She alleged that during one of his journalistic assignment, he had made her feel uncomfortable and harassed her in a hotel room.
The question concerning junior minister in the ministry of External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj was not answered by her. She refused to comment on the issue when media persons asked her. It is not only that Sushma Swaraj had avoided the question but the ministry is also not responding to the queries asked from it.
Sources in the ministry said that allegations of misconduct made against the junior minister do not pertain to his tenure as a minister of the government. So the government will not give any response on this issue. But MJ Akbar on his individual capacity is free to respond to media query when he comes back to the country. The ministry will not release any statement on this issue.
Sources further said but this was the decision of the government prior to the statement made by Union women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi who later said that investigation must be made against these allegations while Sushma had taken the official line of the government.
The government is now waiting for M J Akbar to reach Delhi as he is away in Nigeria on an official tour. So it is now up to him if he himself takes a call on it and resigns but the government stand is clear on this issue. The government is of the view that these allegations are of the time when Akbar was not a minister so there is no question of government taking any call on it.
Sources said that it is most unlikely that the government will ask him to quite. However, he will definitely be asked clarification on the issue as soon as he reaches New Delhi. Women from different professions have flooded social media with 'MeToo in India' messages. They have been narrating horrific stories about their encounter with sexual harassment mostly at workplace.