New Delhi: Political parties had a field day as soon as MJ Akbar announced on Wednesday that he was stepping down from the post of MoS for External Affairs in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against him by as many as 20 women journalists. Hailing the women journalist, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said his resignation “completely exposed” the ‘Chaal, Charitra and Chehra’ of the ruling BJP at the Centre. (Also read: ‘Will Fight in Personal Capacity,’ Says Akbar) Also Read - Sonia Gandhi Laments Plight of Migrants Amid Lockdown, Accuses Centre of Turning Deaf Ears to Their Pain
AAP spokesperson Dilip Pandey said the action was “not sufficient” and demanded criminal proceedings against him. “Mere resignation by Akbar is not sufficient considering gravity of allegations against him. Criminal proceedings must be started against him,” Pandey told PTI. Also Read - 'Will Defeat Coronavirus Under CM Thackeray's Leadership': Maharashtra Minister Raut Slams Centre, BJP | Watch
While calling Akbar’s resignation a victory of the #MeToo movement, the Left parties said Akbar should have resigned early and the action had come “too late”. “I think the Modi government was compelled to ask MJ Akbar to resign from the Union ministry as the #MeToo movement gained momentum in the country. He should have resigned on the first day when his former colleagues made sexual harassment allegations against him,” CPI general secretary Sudhakar Reddy said. Also Read - '60 Flip-Flops in 60 Days': Congress Leader Sanjay Nirupam Targets Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray
All India Democratic Women’s Association general secretary Mariam Dhawale termed Akbar’s resignation as a victory of women bodies which carried out the relentless agitation for the junior MEA minister’s resignation.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said she saluted those women who stood on their charges against the minister bravely despite the “brazen” stance taken by the government.”This resignation is a vindication of the power of truth. More strength to India’s women,” she said.
“I salute these women who stood their ground despite the brazen stance of the GoI, silence of the PM who speaks about women empowerment, the arrogant misuse of power by deploying a battery of lawyers against one woman and allowing the accused to continue in his role,” she tweeted.