Nirmala Sitharaman declines to comment on charges against MJ Akbar, lauds 'courage' of women who are speaking out

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman in an interview with CNN News18 on Wednesday spoke on the #MeToo movement, saying that she "supports the courage with which the women are speaking out". Sitharaman said

When asked for her views on the allegations against Union minister of state MJ Akbar, Sitharaman declined to comment. However, she said, "I do support the courage with which many of these women are speaking out because......for women who have gone through this, it must have been a terrible lifetime hard memory (sic) and speaking out requires courage...I support them for it."

 Nirmala Sitharaman declines to comment on charges against MJ Akbar, lauds courage of women who are speaking out

File image of defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Getty images

Akbar, a former journalist and the MoS for external affairs, has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least ten women so far and is yet to respond to the allegations. He is presently on a visit to Nigeria.

BJP minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi also commented on the issue and said that, "It is not easy for women to come out with their stories of sexual abuse....everybody knows how there has been a culture of harassment of women at workplaces. Cases should be heard and a proper investigation should be held in all such cases to bring out the truth."

Meanwhile, the Congress on Wednesday demanded that Akbar should either come out with a satisfactory explanation or resign from his post in the government.

Updated Date: Oct 11, 2018 15:57:53 IST