It’s for MJ Akbar to respond on MeToo row: Smriti Irani
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It’s for MJ Akbar to respond on MeToo row: Smriti Irani

The statement by Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani against MJ Akbar is getting hot after she responded that the onus is on MJ Akbar now. This is the first time a person from the Modi Ministry is responding open to the issue. Earlier, when media persons enquired about the issue, Union Minister Sushma Swaraj had not given any response.

Smriti Irani also added that it's for MJ Akbar, the junior minister of Modi government facing sexual harassment allegations, to issue a statement, and that women speaking out in the #MeToo movement shouldn't be mocked or shamed.

"The gentleman concerned would be better positioned to speak on this issue," Irani told reporters today, without explicitly naming Akbar. "I appreciate that the media is accosting his [woman] colleagues."

The allegations against Akbar have been made by a number of women journalists; the accounts are from a time when Akbar held senior editorial positions in media firms. The women have described how Akbar used to conduct meetings and interviews in hotel rooms and exhibit "predatory" behaviour. At least one woman has accused Akbar of molesting her.