Explain or quit, Congress tells M J Akbar

Explain or quit, Congress tells M J Akbar

M J Akbar

As the Modi government remained mum on allegations of sexual harassment against Union Minister M J Akbar, Congress on Wednesday said the editor-turned-politician should either offer a satisfactory explanation or resign.

“Union Minister M J Akbar should either give a satisfactory answer to the allegations or he should resign. We demand an inquiry into the matter,” Congress spokesperson S Jaipal Reddy told reporters here.

With a measured demand for Akbar's resignation, Congress has stepped up attack on the beleaguered union minister who has been called out by at least five women journalists for sexual misconduct.

“If Justice Kavanaugh can be asked for an explanation, then why not MJ Akbar, who allegedly did whatever he did much later in his life than Kavanaugh,” Reddy said, referring to the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh in the US Supreme Court and the Senate confirmation proceedings that followed.

AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi wanted the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sack Akbar from the Council of Ministers. “I am amazed that this person stood up in Parliament and spoke about empowerment of Muslim women during the debate on the triple talaq bill. The Prime Minister should sack him immediately,” Owaisi said.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had refused to respond to questions about Akbar's conduct put to her on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad ducked questions on Akbar put to him during the briefing on the decisions of the Union Cabinet.
“That is not the topic right now,” Prasad said to questions on Akbar.

Akbar has been the editor of newspapers such as The Telegraph, Asian Age, The Sunday Guardian before he joined the BJP and was made the Union Minister of State for External Affairs. In his earlier political stint in the late 1980s. Akbar had joined the Congress and was closely associated with Rajiv Gandhi. He also contested and won the Lok Sabha polls on a Congress ticket from Bihar.