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Thursday 23 January 2020

#MeToo movement: Rahul Gandhi breaks silence, says ‘truth needs to be told loud and clear’

Gandhi’s statement in support of the victims of sexual harassment comes at a time when at least 10 women, including senior journalists, have alleged that they had been sexually harassed by former journalist and Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar

New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday broke his silence over the ongoing ‘Me Too’ movement that has seen several women come forward to narrate their ordeal of sexual harassment and call out their violators on social media.

Gandhi came out in support of the #MeToo movement, saying it was about time that everyone learns to treat women with respect and dignity.

He also said he is happy that the space for those who don’t treat women with respect and dignity is closing.

The #MeToo movement has gathered pace over the last fortnight with scores of women speaking out on sexual harassment at the workplace and support pouring in from various quarters.

“It’s about time everyone learns to treat women with respect and dignity. I’m glad the space for those who don’t, is closing. The truth needs to be told loud and clear in order to bring about change,” Gandhi tweeted along with the MeToo hashtag.

Gandhi’s statement in support of the victims of sexual harassment comes at a time when at least 10 women, including senior journalists, have alleged that they had been sexually harassed by former journalist and Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar.

On Tuesday, Congress leader Jaipal Reddy said that the Union Minister should resign and be investigated, in the wake of the allegations against him of sexual harassment. “Union minister MJ Akbar should either give a satisfactory answer to the allegations or he should resign. We demand an inquiry into the matter,” the parliamentarian added.

Several union ministers, including Ravi Shankar Prasad and KJ Alphons, have refused to comment on the allegations against Akbar, who has been accused of displaying sexually predatory behaviour towards many of his female colleagues.

However, Union Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday said her colleague MJ Akbar is in a better position to speak over the allegations of sexual harassment against him. Irani said this when she was asked to comment on the matter.

“It is for the gentleman in question to issue a statement. It would not be proper for me to comment because I wasn’t present. But at the same time do not judge the women speaking out because it must be extremely difficult for them to do so,” the minister said.

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