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Politics
13 Oct 2018

#MeToo: Amit Shah says charges against Akbar will be examined

Following sexual harassment allegations against Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar, BJP chief Amit Shah has said that the allegations would be examined.

However, Shah also added that there was a need to check the veracity of the claims against Akbar.

Regardless, Shah's comments mark the first by BJP leadership since the #MeToo fire engulfed the minister.

Here are the details.

In context

#MeToo: BJP leadership breaks silence of Akbar allegations

Amit Shah's exact words on the MJ Akbar controversy

"Dekhna padega yeh sach hai ya galat. We have to check the veracity of the post and the person who posted it. You can also post something using my name," said Shah, importantly adding, "Is par zaroor sochenge".

Backstory: When the #MeToo fire reached the BJP government

Context

Backstory: When the #MeToo fire reached the BJP government

After journalist Priya Ramani broke her silence and accused the minister of sexual harassment during his days as a journalist, at least six other women came forward with similar allegations against Akbar.

Despite the allegations, BJP leadership had not commented up until now.

Meanwhile, there is a strong view that Akbar shouldn't be allowed to continue in the government, in light of the accusations.

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Problematic

Why the allegations are problematic for the Modi government

Importantly, with the #MeToo movement gathering momentum in India, the allegations against Akbar is a problem for the Modi government.

Indeed, if Akbar continues in office despite the allegations, it would seriously undermine the BJP's claims of having taken pro-women steps during Narendra Modi's tenure.

Meanwhile, Akbar, who is currently on a tour of Africa, is set to return on Sunday.

Upon his return, Akbar is expected to make a statement

Return

Upon his return, Akbar is expected to make a statement

Upon his return, MJ Akbar is expected to meet senior BJP leaders and make a statement about the allegations against him as media and political pressure continues to mount on him.

With yet another account of sexual harassment having surfaced against Akbar on Friday, social media is abuzz with discussions about the allegations, and the BJP will be under pressure to act.

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