With nearly two dozen accusations under the ever expanding #MeToo campaign in India having been made against Union Minister MJ Akbar, his resignation from the cabinet comes as no surprise. The dignity of the position he occupies demands that he resign from public office and make it a personal battle against the accusers – 2o till now.
“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” – MJ Akbar
The Minister of State for External Affairs has submitted his resignation to the Prime Minister, which as per reports, has been accepted with immediate effect. Akbar, in his statement to the press said that he has thanked the Prime Minister and Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs for the opportunity given to him to serve the country in the last two years in the cabinet.
Earlier, MJ Akbar had filed a defamation case against one of his accusers, saying that these allegations are meant only to harm his reputation and goodwill which he has garnered being in public space for decades, earlier as a journalist and then in the government.
On return from his foreign trip a few days ago, it was speculated that the BJP would demand his resignation, but the party said that nothing of that sort was warranted…as mere accusations do not demand the resignation of Minister. This would set an unwanted precedent, the BJP said. However, hardly two days after this statement, the Minister has resigned from the cabinet…and the BJP says that this will not set a precedent. The BJP said that the decision to resign was his own and this would not set a precedent, and that he will remain in the BJP…
“Accusations without evidence have become a viral fever“, Akbar, 67, had said on his return to India, after being called out to resign in the face of multiple accusations by women who have either worked with him, or have been associated professionally during his career as a journalist with several newspapers earlier.
“As women, we feel vindicated by Akbar’s resignation. I look forward to the day when I will also get justice in court” – Priya Ramani
MJ Akbar had filed a case against Priya Ramani, one of the first persons to accuse him and the case is coming up for hearing on 18 October, said Sandeep Kapur of the law firm Karanjawala & Co.
The other nineteen women who had also alleged MJ Akbar of sexual harassment, have come out in support of Priya and have decided to testify against Akbar in court.
Is is the beginning of the end for the present dispensation.