New Delhi, October 11: Union Minister MJ Akbar, accused of sexual harassment by a female journalist, may be asked to resign on his own, according to reports. TV news channel CNN-News18, quoting government sources, has said that Akbar may be asked to step down on his own and that the government does not want to get into any legal hassles. The report quoting sources says that the charges have made it difficult for Akbar to stay on as the Minister of State of External Affairs. #MeToo Movement Grips Indian Politics; Female Journalist Accuses Union Minister MJ Akbar Of Making Sexual Advances.
Pressure from the Opposition has also been mounting on the government to remove Akbar at a time when the #MeToo Movement has kicked up a storm in the country. #MeToo Movement: Minister MJ Akbar, Accused of Sexual Harassment, Should Answer or Resign, Demands Congress.
A female journalist has accused Akbar of making sexual advances when she was new to the profession. In an article which she wrote for Vogue, the woman alleged that Akbar, who was a senior journalist at that time called her for an interview in a hotel room in South Mumbai. As per her accounts, the union minister offered her a drink and also sang songs for her.
The Congress on Wednesday asked Akbar to either come clean in the wake of sexual harassment charges against him or step down as a Minister. It also sought an independent probe into the charges against him.
On Tuesday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj parried a question on allegations of sexual harassment against MJ Akbar. Swaraj kept silent when she was asked about action against Akbar.
Many Asked To Leave as MeToo Gains Momentum
On Tuesday, journalist Mayank Jain, principal correspondent for Business Standard, resigned after sexual allegations were levelled against him. Prashant Jha, political editor of Hindustan Times, also resigned after sexual harassment allegations on him.
AIB comedians Tanmay Bhat and Gursimran Khamba were told to leave the company, after it came to the fore that they were aware of comedian Utsav Chakraborty's sexual misconduct but did nothing against it. While Tanmay Bhat will not be involved with AIB in any way, Gursimran Khamba has also been accused of sexual harassment. Serious allegations of rape were levelled on actor Alok Nath on Tuesday, and another actor accused him on Wednesday of making sexual advancements on him.