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‘He would always greet me with a kiss’: Journalist names former UPA minister in #MeToo

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New Delhi, Oct 16: On the day a former NSUI president quit over sexual harassment charges, a senior Congress leader has been accused of sexually harassing a journalist.

A journalist wrote about being sexually harassed by the leader who was a minister in the United Progressive Alliance government.

Representational Image

Sonal Kellogg, a reporter then, has not named the minister from the UPA-1 era but has opened up about what woman journalists have to go through as they go about their work.

Here is how the woman narrated her #Metoo story

#Metoo - In January 2001, I joined The Asian Age, Ahmedabad edition, but shifted to Delhi to join The Asian Age's main edition in February 2006 after the Ahmedabad edition was shut down. During my time, a Cabinet minister, in-charge of one of the ministries which I was covering, would always greet me with a kiss when I went to meet him.

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I would like to relate what happened the last time that I met the minister when I felt he had gone too far - and I finally was able to call him out on it. I was sitting in his office in his MP bungalow in early 2014.

At that time, I was in-between jobs. I was sitting across the table and talking to him. After some time, the minister got up to go to the washroom which was on my left, so he walked right across the table and while passing me by, he stretched his hand and suddenly pressed one of my breasts.

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I was taken aback, not quite expecting this, but I did manage to say, 'Don't touch me.' Before entering the washroom, he asked, 'Why? What is the problem?' I told him, 'Don't touch me because I don't like it'. He went to the washroom and then came back, sat down and resumed the conversation as if nothing had happened.

After that incident, I never met him. Also, I moved to Ahmedabad from Delhi and never met him at any political or social events.

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I would like to say that even if a man is testing whether his advances are welcome or not, he can't start with squeezing the breasts of a woman. The least he can do is see whether she is interested - you cannot just grab a woman and think it is okay. Also, in this case, the minister is married and is a father of grown-up daughters, so it is definitely not okay.

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