Minister MJ Akbar Named In #MeToo, Senior Sushma Swaraj Ducks Question

New Delhi: 

Union Minister and former editor MJ Akbar has been accused of sexual harassment on social media in the snowballing #MeToo movement in India that began with a Twitter thread. His senior Sushma Swaraj, the Union Foreign Minister, however, did not respond as she was asked what action would be taken.

MJ Akbar, a veteran journalist who is junior foreign minister, was named in a tweet by journalist Priya Ramani, who had first shared her account when the #MeToo campaign exploded in the US with the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Sushma Swaraj was asked about the allegations against her deputy. “There are serious allegations…these are sexual harassment allegations. You are a woman minister in charge. Will there be a probe on the allegations,” Tribune reporter Smita Sharma questioned. The minister walked past without a word.

MJ Akbar is believed to be in Nigeria.

Priya Ramani named him as the editor she had written about in an article in October last year.

In response, more journalists came out with allegations.

Priya Ramani had not named MJ Akbar when she wrote in the Vogue India Article addressing “Dear Male Boss” and spoke about her experience after she was invited by him to a plush Mumbai hotel for an interview. He allegedly called her to his room, offered her a drink, asked her to sit close to him.

“We’ll get you all one day,” was Ms Ramani’s parting shot in the article titled “To the Harvey Weinsteins of the world”.

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