Former journalist and BJP MP, MJ Akbar has resigned from the post of minister of state for external affairs following allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by several women journalists as part of the ongoing #MeToo movement. Akbar announced his decision of quitting from his post by issuing a statement on October 17.
“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,” Akbar said in a statement.
“I have, therefore, tendered my resignation from the office of minister of state 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,” he added.
News agency ANI has tweeted Akbar’s full statement. Here’s the tweet.
— ANI (@ANI) October 17, 2018
Earlier, Akbar filed a defamation case in a Delhi court against one of the journalists. The hearing of the case will be held on October 18.
The former journalist rejected the allegations by calling them as ‘false, fabricated and deeply distressing’.
Author of several books, Akbar joined the BJP in in March 2014 as its national spokesperson. Later, he was elected to Rajya Shabha from Jharkhand in July 2015. He was appointed as MoS for external affairs on 5 July 2016.
The #MeToo movement was started after Bollywood actress and former beauty queen accused fellow actor Nana Patekar of sexually molested her during the shooting of the film “Horn OK Plsss” in 2010.
Besides Nana, Bollywood actor Alok Nath, stunt director Sham Kaushal and film director Sajid Khan are facing the sexual harassment allegations.