In 1st Reference to #MeToo Allegations Against MJ Akbar, Rahul Gandhi Trains Guns at PM Modi
File image of Congress president Rahul Gandhi | (Photo credits: IANS)

Bhopal, October 16: In a poll rally on Wednesday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi trained guns at Prime Minister Narendra Modi while making a first veiled reference towards the #MeToo allegations levelled against Union Minister MJ Akbar.

While addressing a gathering of Congress workers in Morena district's Joura area, Rahul Gandhi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has nothing else to offer "except a muted response" when serious allegations are levelled against his leaders, MLAs, MPs and Ministers. Target of a Malicious, Defamatory Campaign: Akbar.

"Modiji says ‘beti padhao, beti bachao’ but it so happens that when a complaint against his Minister comes, he keeps quiet,” Rahul Gandhi was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

The Gandhi scion also recalled the recent allegation of rape levelled by an 18-year-old girl against Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the Uttar Pradesh legislator affiliated to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“When an Uttar Pradesh MLA rapes a woman, UP CM Yogi (Adityanath) keeps quiet and the prime minister keeps quiet. Their true slogan should be ‘beti padhao aur beti ko BJP ke neta, mantri aur MLA se bachao,” Rahul added. MJ Akbar, Facing #MeToo Allegations, Will be Defended by 97 Lawyers.

While addressing a press conference last week, the Congress chief was asked to comment on the #MeToo controversy. Without making any reference to Akbar, Rahul had said, "I support this movement. This is a serious issue."

The global #MeToo movement made landfall in India nearly a fortnight ago, when former actor Tanushree Dutta took to social media to level sexual harassment charges against industry veteran Nana Patekar. Tanushree claimed that Patekar attempted to sexually harass her during the shootings of a film in 2008.

Subsequently, a spree of allegations were levelled against other actors and film personalities. The movement also sent shockwaves in media, sports and political circles. MJ Akbar, who is the Minister of State in External Affairs, has been accused by at least 16 journalists of sexually harassing them when he was the founder-editor of The Asian Age.