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Union Minister MJ Akbar resigns over sex harassment charges

As more women came out and accused M J Akbar of sexually harassing them amid the #meToo movement, the Union Minister on Wednesday resigned from his post of Minister of State External Affairs.

His resignation comes just two days after he had sued one of his 20 accusers for defamation, accusing her of “intentionally making fabricated allegations” to harm his reputation.

“Since I have decided to seek justice in a court of law in my personal capacity, I deem it appropriate to step down from my office and challenge false accusation levied against me, also in a personal capacity,” Akbar said in his statement.

“I have, therefore, tendered my resignation from the office of Minister of State for External Affairs. I am deeply grateful to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and to the external Affair Minister Smt Sushma Swaraj for the opportunity they gave me to serve my country,” he added.

The editor-turned-politician has been accused by multiple women of sexually harassing them. About 20 women have forward to speak out their experiences of alleged sexual harassment at the hands of Akbar in the last fortnight.

Akbar, however, had denied the allegations and on Monday filed a private criminal defamation complaint against Priya Ramani, the first woman to accuse the former editor-in-chief of The Asian Age of sexual harassment. He had also, earlier, ignored calls for his resignation.

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