Bhopal: While the Congress has hailed the #MeToo movement with party president Rahul Gandhi saying it was time harassers were called out, a party MLA has sparked controversy by saying that women accusers often drop their charges by taking money as compensation. Veteran party leader from MP, Govind Singh, made light of the #MeToo movement when he questioned the intention with which women were calling out men. “There are many instances of #MeToo in our villages. The affected women often take money to drop the matter and many are misusing it to serve their personal interests,” he reportedly said. (Also read: ‘Political Parties Asked to Create Internal Complaints Panel’)

The comments are likely to leave the Congress red-faced, especially since the party recently demanded the resignation of MJ Akbar as union minister following allegations of sexual harassment against him by many women.  The #MeToo movement, which began in the US, has helped many women recount instances when they were harassed – sexually or otherwise

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court refused to hear urgently a lawyer’s PIL seeking FIRs or action by the National Commission of Women (NCW) against all the accused persons in the #MeToo movement, reported ANI. A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi,and Justice SK Kaul told lawyer ML Sharma, who had filed the petition, that it will come up for hearing in the regular course.

Meanwhile, taking note of the plethora of #MeToo stories emerging from the media industry, the NCW has urged the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to direct all print, publication and production houses to form Internal Complaints Committee to probe complaints of sexual harassment at workplace. An NCW official said that in the past few days, the women rights body had received a number of complaints of sexual harassment at workplace against people in both traditional print organisations as well as digital media.