MeraNews Network, New Delhi: Former editor and the current Minister of State for External Affairs Mobashar Jawed ‘MJ’ Akbar resigned from his central government post on Wednesday in the wake of numerous sexual harassment accusations made against him by female journalists who worked under him during his tenure as editor. In a statement released by him, Akbar said that he deems it appropriate to step down from office and challenge false accusations levied against him in a personal capacity.

On Monday, Akbar had filed a criminal defamation suit against Priya Ramani, one of the 20 women who had accused him of sexual harassment while working with them. Priya was one of the first women to call out Akbar’s predatory behavior against women who had worked under him. She had joined the wave of several women on social media platforms calling out numerous powerful men from various industries like entertainment, comedy, and media who had either harassed them or were complicit with the accused.

Calls for Akbar’s resignation had started as the number of women coming out against him started to increase and the stoic silence of the government on the same. On October 14, Akbar reacted for the first time against the allegations against him and in a statement, he said, “Accusations without evidence have become a viral fever,” and that his lawyers will look into the wild and baseless allegations against him. Akbar’s statement released today read, “Since I have decided to seek justice in a court of law in my personal capacity, I deem it appropriate to step down from office and challenge false accusations levied against me, also in a personal capacity. I have, therefore, tendered my resignation from the office of Minister of State for External Affairs.”