New Delhi: Amid clamour for Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar’s resignation from the opposition parties and women groups following several journalists levelling charges of sexual misconduct, the embattled Minister returned home on Sunday morning.
Mr Akbar was in Nigeria on an official tour.
Immediately after landing at Delhi airport, encircled by TV cameras and journalists, Mr Akbar, a former Editor, merely said: “A statement will be made later”.
According to key BJP and government sources, Mr Akbar’s continuance in the union council of ministers has become untenable as even women members of the Union cabinet under Prime Minister Narendra Modi – who champions the cause of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padao’ are insisting on at party level that Mr Akbar may be asked to step down.
“It will be best scenario if Akbar steps aside himself,” said a source.
According to reports in a section of media, BJP chief Amit Shah has favoured probe into the allegations made by a number of journalists that Mr Akbar had attacked their modesty during his career as the Editor of ‘Asian Age’ in 1990s.
Lately adding to the woes of the embattled Minister, CNN journalist Majlie de Puy Kamp took to Twitter to reveal graphic details of harassment she faced at the former editor’s hands during her internship as an 18-year-old.
Earlier, at least nine women journalists have accused the Union Minister Akbar, who was once a Congress MP, and has been made MoS External Affairs Minister under Prime Minister Modi of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour when he was the Editor.
The opposition parties including Congress and CPI (M) have demanded that following sexual harassment charges against him, he ought to resign.
For BJP shielding Mr Akbar has become more difficult in view of the assembly elections as he represents poll-bound Madhya Pradesh in Rajya Sabha.