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It is for Akbar to respond, says Irani on sexual harassment charges against him 

Mumbai: Amid sexual harassment allegations against her ministerial colleague MJ Akbar, Union Minister Smriti Irani Thursday said it was for him to respond to the charges even as she favoured justice for the “ladies who are speaking out”.

As the #MeToo campaign gathered momentum, some women journalists have come out and accused Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs, of sexually harassing them during his stint as editor in two newspapers.

“The gentleman concerned would be better positioned to speak on this issue,” Irani, the Union Textiles Minister, told reporters here while responding to questions over allegations against Akbar.

Akbar, whose resignation from the government is being demanded by opposition political parties and various others, has not reacted to the allegations so far.

“I appreciate that the media is accosting his (former) female colleagues but I think it is for the gentleman concerned to issue a statement (and) not for me because I was personally not present there,” Irani said.

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