MJ Akbar features on cover of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas's booklet; journalists ask if BJP has forgotten #MeToo

  • MJ Akbar had resigned as the Minister of State for External Affairs in October 2018

  • His image featured on the cover of an official booklet of the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

  • The booklet sparked a controversy on Monday as several journalists sought to know how he made the cut

Months after stepping down as a Union minister over charges of sexual harassment, MJ Akbar featured on the cover of an official booklet of the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

The booklets were handed out to the attendees and delegates at the three-day event, organised by the Centre in Varanasi, which began on Monday.

India Today reported that the former Minister of State for External Affairs could also be spotted on the insides of the photobook, when he had been a part of official meetings of the ministry.

On the cover of the publication, Akbar's cut-out image was placed alongside that of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Moreover, the former journalist also found his way on the homepage of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas's official website.

 MJ Akbar features on cover of Pravasi Bharatiya Divass booklet; journalists ask if BJP has forgotten #MeToo

Screenshot from Pravasi Bharatiya Divas's official website.

The booklet sparked a controversy on Monday as several journalists sought to know how he made the cut. However, there was no immediate clarification from the government on the issue.

Akbar had resigned in October 2018 as the junior foreign minister following strong criticism over multiple allegations of sexual harassment against him.

When the #MeToo campaign raged in India, at least 20 women accused Akbar of sexually harassing them during his days as a journalist.

The 67-year-old faced flak over the allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards women, with Opposition parties mounting attack on the government and demanding is ouster.

He strongly denied the allegations and instead filed a defamation case against Priya Ramani, one of the first women who publicly accused Akbar of sexual misconduct.

With inputs from ANI

Updated Date: Jan 21, 2019 14:43:51 IST