On return to India, MJ Akbar evades questions on MeToo allegations, says ‘there will be a statement later on’


India’s junior foreign minister, MJ Akbar, on Sunday evaded questions from journalists on MeToo allegations after he returned to India. All told journalists was that ‘there will be a statement later on.’

[File: Sonu Mehta/Getty Images]Akbar, a journalist-turned-politician, has been facing charges serious sexual misconduct by female journalists, who worked under him during his time as the editor Asian Age. The government has, so far, maintained a stoic silence on the topic.

Many reports suggested that Akbar may step down from his post after his return from abroad. Several BJP leaders have spoken out on the allegations against Akbar, but none has gone on record to demand his resignation.

On Thursday, Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani had said that ‘anybody who is speaking out should in no way be shamed, victimised or mocked.’ BJP President Amit had said in Hyderabad that his party will look into the allegations against Akbar, but made it clear that the saffron party will ‘check the veracity of the post and the people’ behind the allegations.

On Saturday, BJP MP Kirron Kher had said, “Maneka Gndhi has announced a committee of retired judges to investigate the allegations. Everywhere there are allegations. I am sure it will be investigated. As we all know Mr Akbar is not in India right now. I am sure when he comes back, you will get the answer on that. I am a Member of Parliament, I am not in the cabinet. So I am not privy to what has happened there. And right now I am shooting for India’s Got Talent, but I am sure they will take actions.”