'Right decision': Women welcome MJ Akbar's resignation as Union minister; Priya Ramani says she feels 'vindicated'

MJ Akbar on Wednesday resigned as the Minister of State for External Affairs in the wake of multiple allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour against him. In a brief statement, Akbar said he had decided to seek justice in a court of law in his personal capacity.

Akbar's resignation, which came just a day before the hearing of the criminal defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani, evoked a flurry of reactions. The private criminal defamation case will come up for hearing on Thursday before additional chief metropolitan magistrate Samar Vishal.

Akbar had filed the complaint against Ramani alleging she "wilfully" and "maliciously" made imputations against him with the ulterior motive of maligning his reputation and political standing. After he tendered his resignation, Ramani tweeted that "as women we feel vindicated" and she is looking forward to the day when she gets justice in court.

Senior journalist Ghazala Wahab, one of the several women who have accused Akbar of sexual misconduct, said she is happy with the development, but it should have happened three days back. She also said that Akbar should now withdraw his defamation case.  

National Commission for Women (NCW) chief Rekha Sharma called it the "right decision".

Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chief Swati Maliwal said the credit for Akbar's resignation goes neither to the Centre nor Akbar, but directly to the #MeToo movement.

Journalist Barkha Dutt tweeted that it took two weeks and the bravery of nearly 20 women for Akbar to quit. "More power to women's rage, our right to work without harassment, our right to equality and our right to be."

Commentator and cricket analyst Harsha Bhogle tweeted that "tide of previous wrongs was too powerful to swim against".

UK-based journalist with Bloomberg Ruth David, who had also accused Akbar of "sexually harassing her as a teenage trainee in his newsroom", tweeted:

Journalist Sucheta Dalal also tweeted:

Meena Baghel, one of the 20 women journalists who are willing to testify against Akbar, tweeted:

Union minister Ramdas Athawale called it a "right decision" taken by Akbar and said that the allegations against him should be properly investigated.

AAP leader Alka Lamba also tweeted:

Another senior AAP leader Atishi Marlena said the "courageous women journalists deserve all the credit for forcing Akbar out of his ministerial position".

Former foreign secretary Nirupama Rao also expressed happiness at the development and said his "continuation was untenable and indefensible".

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Updated Date: Oct 17, 2018 18:27:58 IST