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Union Minister MJ Akbar files defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani for #MeToo allegations

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MJ Akbar

New Delhi | Union Minister of State of External Affairs MJ Akbar on Monday filed a defamation case against Journalist Priya Ramani who accused of him for sexual harassment.

Former Journalist MJ Akbar was accused of sexual harassment by various women journalist in the ongoing #MeToo campaign during his tenure as Editor of various newspapers. Journalist Priya Ramani had alleged that Akbar during his tenure as an Editor of a newspaper made her feel uncomfortable and harassed her in a hotel room.

Alleging M.J. Akbar, journalist Priya Ramani wrote in her article “Akbar is an expert on obscene phone calls, texts, inappropriate compliments and not taking no for an answer.” She further added, “You know how to pinch, pat, rub, grab, and assault. Speaking up against you still carries a heavy price that many young women cannot afford to pay.”

After Ramani’s tweet various other female journalists including Prerna Singh Bindra, Ghazala Wahab, Shutapa Paul, Anju Bharti, Suparna Sharma, Shuma Raha, Malini Bhupta, Kanika Gahlout, Kadambari M Wade, Majlie de Puy Kamp and Ruth David spoke against Akbar.

Earlier on Sunday after returning from Nigeria,  MJ Akbar termed the accusations false and baseless. Speaking to media agency ANI, the former Journalist said, “Accusations without evidence has become a viral fever among some sections.” He further added that “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.”


Responding to his silence over the allegations, the Union Minister clarified,” 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.”

Politics

Aim of opposition’s alliance is to form secular govt: Abhishek Singhvi

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Congress

Kolkata | Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Saturday hailed TMC’s mega opposition rally here and said the aim of the rainbow opposition alliance is to defeat the BJP and form a secular government.

“The cloud is dispappearing and rainbow will emerge soon with the fall of Modi Government and fulfil people’s expectation,” Singhvi said at the mammoth gathering at the Brigade Parade Grounds, where leaders of more than 14 parties, except the BJD and the CPI(M)-led Left Front, spoke at the united opposition rally.

“Never before have we seen such vendetta politics as now … When Amit Shah did 100 rallies in Uttar Pradesh, no one questioned, but when RJD organised a rally it got an income tax notice,” he said.

Congress is an ally of the Lalu Prasad’s RJD in the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (Grand Alliance) in Bihar. Accusing the Centre of indulging in “cheap politics”, the Congress leader said the biggest beneficiary of vote division is BJP.

“Narendra Modi makes fun of the opposition alliance, but his party made the most unethical alliance in Kashmir. What will he say about it?” Singhvi asked.

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Politics

BSP-SP alliance a mismatch, its leaders unreliable: Shivpal Yadav

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Shivpal Yadav

Ballia (UP) | Terming the BSP-SP alliance as a “mismatch”, former Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Shivpal Yadav on Saturday alleged that the leaders of the two parties were unreliable as they both had betrayed Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Shivpal Yadav, who has floated Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (PSP) after parting ways with the SP, hit out at his nephew and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, alleging that he had deceived not only his father Mulayam Singh Yadav but also the Congress party.

“The BSP-SP alliance is a mismatch… their leaders Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav are unreliable as they have betrayed the SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav,” Shivpal Singh Yadav, who was here to attend a function in Sahatwar, told reporters. “After forming the government with the Samajwadi Party in 1993, the BSP had betrayed Mulayam Singh in merely 17 months ,” Shivpal Yadav said recalling her association with the BJP in the past.

On Akhilesh Yadav, he said that the SP president not only betrayed his father but also the Congress with which he fought the last Assembly polls in UP by going ahead and entering into an alliance with the BSP, leaving the Congress out.

He claimed, “backbiters and sycophants have brought the party to a situation where senior leaders are parting ways with it”. He accused SP Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav of damaging the party and blamed him for the SP’s defeat in Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

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Opposition’s rally a summit of conflicting ideologies, will form next govt: BJP

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BJP

New Delhi | The BJP on Saturday described the united opposition rally organised by TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee “a rally of self interest and of conflicting ideologies”, and exuded confidence of forming the next government in the country.

Speaking at a press conference at the party office here, BJP’s national spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy termed the rally an anti-Modi exercise and said the party was not threatened by such events.

Banerjee on Saturday organised ‘United India’ rally against the Narendra Modi government in Kolkata, which was attended by more than a dozen leaders of opposition parties, including SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, NCP president Sharad Pawar, TDP leader, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha.

“Don’t know where the threat to unity is. While Mamata calls it United India, we can clearly see a divided leadership. It’s a summit of contradictions and conflict. They talk of a new front but I am not sure if it’s even the second or the third front,” Rudy said.

He further said this rally has also exposed divisions in the opposition camp, “many of these parties are just snubbing each other.”  “Left has refused their invitation. SP-BSP alliance snubbed Congress in UP which has now extended support to the rally. This is a rally of self-interest,” he said.

People have seen the performance of the Narendra Modi government and the BJP will form the next government with full majority, Rudy said. “Today’s opposition rally in Kolkata is an anti-Modi exercise. Who is their leader,” he asked.

On the question of BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha attending the opposition rally, he said BJP will take cognisance of it and said,”They make it a point to be present after party issues whip so that they don’t lose their membership. At the same time they are so opportunistic that they want to climb the stage and be present at a conclave.”

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