New Delhi, October 9: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday parried a question on allegations of sexual harassment against MJ Akbar who is the junior minister of foreign affairs. Sushma Swaraj kept silence when she was asked about action against Akbar who is accused of sexual harassment by at least four women during the ongoing #MeToo movement.
"There are serious allegations...these are sexual harassment allegations. You are a woman minister in charge. Will there be a probe on the allegations?" a reporter asked Swaraj. The union minister walked past without a word. On Monday evening, four journalists made allegations of sexual harassment against Akbar who has a long career as a journalist.
Akbar was first named in a tweet by a female journalist, who identified Akbar as the unnamed editor whose inappropriate behaviour she had written about in an article in Vogue India in October 2017. In the 2017 article, the journalist had described her experience when an acclaimed newspaper editor called her for a job interview to his “plush south Mumbai hotel”. #MeToo: BJP MP Udit Raj Says Women Level Allegations For Money, Backs Nana Patekar.
Following her tweet, three other women journalists made allegations of sexual harassment against Akbar who has been the editor of prominent newspapers like The Telegraph, Asian Age and The Sunday Guardian. Akbar, now a member of Rajya Sabha from the BJP, had served as late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's official spokesman.