Why Does #MeToo Accused MJ Akbar Still Feature In A Govt Booklet? Angry Netizens Ask

The ministry says it is an unnecessary controversy.

A booklet distributed at the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas event in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh has sparked controversy after it featured the photograph of former union minister MJ Akbar who has been accused of sexual misconduct. The booklet titled Unprecedented Outreach Unparalleled Outcomes, which was distributed to foreign delegates, also features the photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, MoS external affairs Dr VK Singh.

Akbar, a veteran journalist, was appointed as the minister of state for external affairs in July 2016. However, when the MeToo movement gained momentum last year, at least twenty women journalists accused him of sexual misconduct. After heavy public outrage, he was forced to quit from his post in October last year. But Akbar has categorically denied all the allegations levelled against him.

The booklet highlights the achievements of the Ministry of External Affairs in the last four years and all the ministers in the MEA featured in it. “The booklet was published months before Akbar quit as a minister. An unnecessary controversy is being created which is very unfortunate. The booklet only mentions achievements of the ministry,” an MEA official told PTI.

But the presence of MJ Akbar’s photograph on the booklet has not gone down well with many. Many women journalists and politicians slammed it on social media:




Meanwhile, a Delhi court reserved for January 29 its order on whether to summon journalist Priya Ramani as an accused in a defamation case filed by former Union minister M J Akbar. Ramani was one of the first women journalists who accused him of sexual misconduct on social media.

(With inputs from PTI)