#MeToo: Shah breaks silence on M J Akbar row

#MeToo: Shah breaks silence on M J Akbar row

BJP national president Amit Shah

As the political storm surrounding the allegations against Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar continues, BJP national president Amit Shah on Friday commented on the issue, saying that the government will soon verify the veracity of the claims.

"We will have to verify whether these allegations are true or false. We have to check the veracity of the post and the person who posted it... ('Is baare me zaroor sochenge') We will definitely look into the issue," Shah told ETV in an interview on Friday.

Shah’s comments come in at a time when most BJP politicians have chosen to remain silent rather than commenting on the issue.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj have dodged questions surrounding Akbar, while Textiles Minister Smriti Irani deflected the question saying that the question should be directed at Akbar.  

Union minister Uma Bharti also responded by saying that the "issue is of the times when he was not a part of the Central government," while adding that the matter is between Akbar and the women, and the government can say nothing on this.

Among those from the BJP who commented on the row included Minister for Women & Child Development  Maneka Gandhi and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanyam Swami.

“Allegations have been levelled against him, not by one but multiple women...I have already said that I support #MeToo movement. I don’t think it’s wrong if they’re coming out after a long time….PM should speak on this,” Swami was quoted as saying by ANI.

Maneka did not directly address the controversy but has assured that her ministry will investigate the #MeToo allegations.

"Men who are in positions of power often do this. And it applies to the media as well as to politics or senior personnel in companies….Women are scared to speak out because they think people would make fun of them and doubt their character but now when they are speaking out we should take action on each and every allegation," Maneka had said.

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