Dubai: Indian Union Minister MJ Akbar reportedly resigned from his position as Minister of State for External Affairs.
Gulf News broke the story on October 11, after award-winning journalist Swati Chaturvedi wrote that Akbar would be asked to resign “so that the fire singeing the Modi government abates.”
The story went viral soon after and, today (Sunday), Indian media reported that Akbar had sent his resignation via email to the Prime Minister’s office after he was caught up in the #MeToo momentum raging in the country.
Earlier on Sunday, when he returned from his trip to West Africa, he was accosted by the media at the airport and said that he would issue a statement later in the day.
— ANI (@ANI) October 14, 2018
The government had been criticised by social media users for its silence on the increasing number of journalists accusing Akbar of sexual harassment.
While @aartiishere felt that the writing was on the wall, another tweep @mush_officially wrote: “Whatever happened behind closed doors, the government did not sack him. He put in his papers. Speaks a lot about the power of this government.”
Watever happened behind closed doors.. The govt didnt sack him.. he put in his papers.. speaks a lot bout the power of this govt..— mush (@mush_officially) October 14, 2018
@brajjourno added: “MJ Akbar informs Sushma of his resignation. With this #MeToo must not stop #Akbarresigns.”
This is the first high-profile resignation in India after the #MeToo movement picked up in the country. Many journalists have also been caught up in the scandal, along with film celebrities.
@SurinderSeth tweeted: “Starting with M. J. Akbar, many more heads will roll. The media is tainted since ages…”