Speaking to media, BJP President Amit Shah has come out and addressed the grave allegations of sexual harassment levelled against the Junior Foreign Minister MJ Akbar. Shah claimed that the authenticity of the allegations made have to be verified before any action is initiated against him. “Dekhna padega ki yeh sach hai ya galat,” Shah said.
Former journalist MJ Akbar is under fire after several women journalists who worked with him in the past have alleged serious charges of harassment and inappropriate behaviour against him. Weighing the allegations made against him, Shah also cautioned that Social Media has also become a place for unverifiable allegations. However, Shah said the allegations against MJ Akbar are very serious in nature and they will definitely look into the issue.
One can infer that Amit Shah’s comment alludes to the fact the party might be open to taking action against MJ Akbar considering the allegations go back several years. Shah’s remarks are the first by a senior BJP leader hinting at action against Akbar. Earlier, Smriti Irani too had come out and said that the women should be protected and not vilified for coming out with their harrowing tales. Several other members of the BJP have also commented on this
A barrage of harassment charges against MJ Akbar followed as one notable journalist Ghazala Wahab penned down her ordeal dating back to the 1990s. Several other journalists who have been his victim have concurred with the allegations made by Wahab. As per the latest account by a foreign journalist Majlie de Puy Kamp, who was 18 when she interned at the Asian Age in 2007, Akbar violated her boundaries and betrayed her and her parent’s trust.
Ramdas Athavale, Junior social justice and environment minister, has also said that while it is important to listen to Akbar’s side but he should resign from the position if the allegations are found to be true. According to him, accusations against him are serious and it’s upon BJP to take any stern action against him.
MJ Akbar is currently on an official visit to Africa and is due to return on Sunday. He is expected to meet senior party functionaries after his return and issue a statement on the controversy as insurmountable pressure seems to be mounting on him and the party. A report in India Today has claimed that Akbar will be asked to resign by the government once he is back.