Minster of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar has been told to cut short his trip to Nigeria in the wake of #MeToo allegations back home, in India, Economic Times has reported. He was expected to return on Friday but he has now been asked to return on Thursday.
An official who spoke to Economic Times said that the view of the minister will also be taken before taking a call on his fate. “When it relates to women and their safety, the BJP has always tried to maintain the right image,” a BJP leader told Economic Times. The party is also wary of a knee-jerk reaction in the controversy.
Opposition parties have demanded the resignation of the minister in the wake of serial allegations by former colleagues when Akbar was an editor.
“During the debate on triple talaq bill in Lok Sabha, Akbar spoke about Muslim women’s rights and the need to protect them. He has no respect for women in reality,” All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi said.
“The allegations against Mr Akbar is the Harvey Weinstein moment for India. The Modi government talks of beti bachao, beti padhao (save the girl child, educate her) but the people of India has built a movement which seeks justice for women. Mr Akbar should resign,” Spokesperson of Samajwadi Party Ghanshyam Tewari remarked on the allegations.
The minister is yet to respond to the allegations and is currently leading an Indian delegation in Nigeria. The ministry of external affairs and Sushma Swaraj have not issued any statement on allegations levelled against MJ Akbar so far.
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