Fri, 22 Mar 2019

New Delhi [India], Oct 17 (ANI): MJ Akbar on Wednesday resigned as the Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs amidst strong criticism over multiple sexual harassment allegations against him.

"Since I have decided to seek justice in a court of law in my 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 from the office of Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs. I am deeply grateful to the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and to the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for the opportunity they gave me to serve my country," Akbar said in a statement issued after his resignation.

The latest development comes after 20 women, one after another, came forward and alleged Akbar of sexually harassing them in his journalistic days. The storm around journalist-turned-politician gathered momentum after MeToo campaign raged in India.

The 67-year-old had been facing flak over the allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards women, with opposition parties mounting attack on the government and demanding is ouster.

On returning from an official visit to Nigeria on Sunday, Akbar refrained from speaking on the allegations and said, "There will be a statement later on."

Later on Monday, he filed a defamation case against Priya Ramani - one of the first women, who publicly accused Akbar, her former boss, of sexual misconduct. (ANI)

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