‘BJP to wait for Ak­bar’s ex­pla­na­tion on charges of mis­con­duct’

Financial Chronicle - - FUNDAMENTALS, POLITICS -

THE BJP ex­pects its leader and Union min­is­ter MJ Ak­bar to of­fer an ex­pla­na­tion to the party’s top brass on the al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual ha­rass­ment against him be­fore it takes a call on his fu­ture, sources said. Ak­bar, who is on a trip abroad, has so far not of­fered any com­ment in pub­lic over the is­sue. Union min­is­ters and BJP spokesper­sons have mostly de­clined to an­swer any query on Ak­bar.

A party leader said the al­le­ga­tions lev­elled against the Union min­is­ter of state for ex­ter­nal af­fairs were se­ri­ous but added that there were sev­eral as­pects to it, in­clud­ing that there was no le­gal case against him. Sev­eral op­po­si­tion par­ties have de­manded Ak­bar’s res­ig­na­tion. The Congress has said he should ei­ther is­sue a sat­is­fac­tory ex­pla­na­tion or re­sign.

Some BJP lead­ers are of the view that the charges against Ak­bar would do no good to the party’s im­age in the run-up to cru­cial state As­sem­bly elec­tions and the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, more so when the party has gone on an over­drive to high­light the Naren­dra Modi gov­ern­ment’s “prowomen cre­den­tials”.

In­ci­den­tally, the women’s wing of the saf­fron party will em­bark on a five-day re­lay marathon from Fri­day to pub­li­cise the prowomen schemes of the gov­ern­ment. Sm­riti Irani on Thurs­day ex­pressed hope that the women speak­ing out got jus­tice. To a ques­tion on Ak­bar, she said, “I ap­pre­ci­ate that the me­dia is ac­cost­ing his fe­male col­leagues, but I think it is for the gen­tle­man con­cerned to is­sue a state­ment, not for me. He would be in a bet­ter po­si­tion.”

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