New Delhi, October 11: Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani reacted to the sexual harassment allegations levelled against her ministerial colleague, saying, "It is up to the concerned gentleman to issue a statement". Irani further stated that she could not comment as "I am not aware of the cases".
The 42-year-old BJP stalwart, however, reiterated her support to the #MeToo movement, stating that the women coming up with their ordeals should be "respectfully heard". MJ Akbar May be Asked to Resign as Union Minister, Government Wants to Avoid Legal Battle, Say Reports.
"Women don’t go to work to be harassed. They go to work to live their dreams and earn a respectable living. I am hopeful that all these ladies who are speaking out get the justice that they deserve," she added.
Watch Smriti Irani Speaking on #MeToo Allegations Against MJ Akbar:
#WATCH: Union Minister Smriti Irani reacts on #MJAkbar, says 'The gentlemen concerned would be better positioned to speak on this issue. I appreciate that the media is accosting his female colleagues...Anybody who is speaking out should in no way be shamed, victimised or mocked.' pic.twitter.com/nFam61Cn20
— ANI (@ANI) October 11, 2018
Akbar, the Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs, has been accused by at least six of his former colleagues of sexually harassing them. The alleged harassment dates back to the days when Akbar was the editor-in-chief of a leading English national daily.
Apart from Akbar, the #MeToo storm has hit other media stalwarts as well, leading to the resignation of Hindustan Times political editor Prashant Jha, ex-DNA and TOI editor Gautam Adhikari and Business Standard reporter Mayank Jain.