New Delhi: MJ Akbar, accused of sexual misconduct by over two dozen female journalists who worked under him when he was editor of Asian Age and other publications, on Wednesday resigned from the Modi cabinet. Akbar was Union Minister of State (MoS) External Affairs.
MJ Akbar was on an official tour of Nigeria when Priya Ramani first alleged him of sexual harassment. Proya's allegation opened a floodgate and a number of other female journalists also levelled similiar allegations Akbar.
Speculations were rife that Akbar will resign as minister after coming home from the foreign tour. Akbar returned India on Sunday. However, instead of stepping down as minister, he issued a statement refuting all allegations against him as baseless. The next day he filed a defamation case against Priya Ramani.
Priya hit back saying she stood by what she had written about Akbar and vowed to fight till she and other female journalists get justice. Akbar's refusal to resign as minister and defamation case against Priya had a counter result with a strong support building up in female journalsist, especially Priya.
Meanwhile, some twenty female journalists, who had worked with Akbar, wrote an open petition, a copy of which was also sent to court and Prime Minister Modi, accusing Akbar of sexual misconduct and supporting Priya Ramani.
Following this Akbar had no option but to step down.
While stepping down as minister, Akbar said he had decided to seek justice in a court of law in his personal capacity
"I deem it appropriate to step down from office and challenge false accusations levied against me, also in a personal capacity. I have, therefore, tendered my resignation...," Akbar said.
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