MJ Akbar Wednesday stepped down as Minister of State for External Affairs following allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by as many as 20 women, most of them his former colleagues, amid the ever-increasing #MeToo storm.
— NEWS LIVE (@NewsLiveGhy) October 17, 2018
In a statement tweeted by news agency ANI, Akbar stated: “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 allegations levied against me, also in a personal capacity. I have, therefore, tendered my resignation from the office of Minister of State for External Affairs. I am deeply grateful to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and to External Affairs minister Smt Sushma Swaraj for the opportunity they gave me to serve my country”.
— ANI (@ANI) October 17, 2018
Journalist Priya Ramani was the first to accuse Akbar of sexual harassment, following which more than a dozen more female journalists accused him of inappropriate behaviour.
He had termed the allegations “baseless and fabricated” and had filed a criminal defamation complaint against Priya Ramani.