In a  dramatic development that could upset BJP Minister  Akbar’s  strategy  more than a dozen  women journalists fused as a force  and have urged the court to hear their testimonies against MJ Akbar, claiming many of  them suffered sexual harassment by the minister and others have been a witness to it.

A group of current and former journalists employed by The Asian Age, a newspaper that was once headed and edited by MJ Akbar who is now  BJP  Union minister accused of sexually harassing at least 10 of the former colleagues  issued a Joint statement  urging a Delhi court to accept their testimonies in the case.

BJP Minister  Akbar has filed a criminal defamation suit against journalist Priya Ramani, the first woman to accuse him of sexual harassment. The lawsuit said Ramani “intentionally put forward malicious, fabricated and salacious” allegations to harm the former editor’s reputation.

Ramani has said she is “ready to fight allegations of defamation laid against me, as truth and the absolute truth is my only defence.

After Minister filed defamation suit  Ramani got surprise support  from Twitterati with crowd fund to take on M.J.Akbar

Now additionally Ramani  got support from  17 journalists and they   said “Ms Ramani is not alone in her fight. We would request the honourable court hearing the defamation case to also consider testimonies of sexual harassment of some of us at the hands of the petitioner, as also of the other signatories who bore witness to this harassment.”

The Patiala House court has listed the criminal defamation case for Thursday.

In his complaint, Akbar said it was apparent that a false narrative against him was being circulated in a motivated manner and for the fulfilment of an agenda.

The Congress and several journalist bodies in India have called for Akbar’s removal from the government over the allegations. But at the time of election year the BJP strong support for Akbar is going to cost the party a lot says  political  Analysts