New Delhi: Amid the sexual harassment allegations against Minister of State (MoS) External Affairs MJ Akbar, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati Monday called the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government “anti-women” and said that inaction against the minister shows the party’s “arrogance”. “People will not excuse BJP for its silence on the matter,” she said.
Condemning Akbar on his questions that “why the allegations have been made against him just before the assembly elections in five states”, Mayawati said that this was an attempt to politicise the matter. The BSP chief also said the “anti-women” face and the BJP’s “insensitiveness towards women’s respect” of the BJP has been exposed.
“Specially when the examples of action could be seen on the allegations of sexual harassment in the film industry, media, sports, and other places, and there is an atmosphere of anguish in the society over reports of such incidents, inaction of BJP and its government against its minister is an evidence of arrogance of the government,” Mayawati said.
A BSP statement earlier said, “In this whole MJ Akbar episode, the anti-women face of the BJP government has been exposed. By not asking the minister to resign, BJP is being arrogant and insensitive.” (Also Read: Will Fight Alok Nath to Take Case to Logical End, Says Vinta Nanda)
Soon after the #MeToo campaign raged in India, at least seven women alleged Akbar of sexually harassing them in the 1990s, when he was working as a journalist. Akbar has been facing flak over the allegations, with opposition parties demanding his resignation. Akbar, however, didn’t step down and filed a defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani terming the charges as “scandalous allegations”.
Reacting to the defamation case, Ramani said she was “deeply disappointed” that Akbar sought to dismiss the detailed allegations of several women as a political conspiracy and by filing the case he was seeking to “silence” the women complainants through intimidation and harassment. “Needless to say, I am ready to fight allegations of defamation laid against me as truth…,” she said in a statement.