Allegations are ‘false and baseless’, will take legal action: MJ Akbar

MJ Akbar
Image Courtesy: MJ Akbar

Calling the sexual assault allegations ‘false, baseless and wild’,  Junior Foreign Minister MJ Akbar has denied all allegations against him.

According to reports, after returning from Nigeria on Sunday morning, Akbar sent his resignation to Principal Secretary Nripendra Mishra. However, after a while, MoS MJ Akbar denied sending resignation email to PMO following sexual harassment allegations against him.

“The allegations of misconduct made against me are false and fabricated, spiced up by innuendo and malice. I could not reply earlier as I was on an official tour abroad, ” he said.

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“Accusation without evidence has become a viral fever among some sections. Whatever be the case, now that I have returned, my lawyers will look into these wild and baseless allegations in order to decide our future course of legal action,” he said in a statement.

MJ Akbar was first called out by a female journalist Priya Ramani and after that Ghazala Wahab who gave an interview to The Wire.

Rubbishing Ramani’s accusation, Akbar said, ” “Ms Priya Ramani began this campaign a year ago with a magazine article. She did not however name me as she knew it was an incorrect story. When asked recently why she had not named me, she replied, in a Tweet: “Never named him because he didn’t ‘do’ anything.” If I didn’t do anything, where and what is the story? There is no story. This was admitted at the very inception.”

Contrary to Wahab’s description of Akbar’s office, the statement noted that at the said time he had a ‘tiny cubicle’.

“The only office where I worked with her was that of The Asian Age. A part of the editorial team then worked out of a small hall. At the time concerned, I had a very tiny cubicle, patched together by plywood and glass. Others had tables and chairs two feet away. It is utterly bizarre to believe that anything could have happened in that tiny space, and, moreover, that no one else in the vicinity would come to know, in the midst of a working day. These allegations are false, motivated and baseless,” he said in response to Wahab’s allegations.

Questioning the timings of these allegations, Akbar termed them as a part of the ‘agenda’ “Why has this storm risen a few months before a general election? Is there an agenda? You be the judge. These false, baseless and wild allegations have caused irreparable damage to my reputation and goodwill,” the statement read.

Concluding his statement, MJ Akbar said that he will take appropriate legal action, “Lies do not have legs, but they do contain poison, which can be whipped into a frenzy. This is deeply distressing. As indicated above, I will be taking appropriate legal action.”

Akbar, who has been the editor of prominent newspapers like The Telegraph, Asian Age and The Sunday Guardian, is a member of the Rajya Sabha from the BJP.


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