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