Row over Remdesivir intensifies

The Shiv Sena alleged that the BJP was aiding the black-marketing of the medicine, even as the BJP accused the state government of resorting to “childish politics”.
Punekars queue-up to buy the Remdesivir injection at a Chemists’ association outlet. (PRATHAM GOKHALE/HT FILE PHOTO)
Punekars queue-up to buy the Remdesivir injection at a Chemists’ association outlet. (PRATHAM GOKHALE/HT FILE PHOTO)
Updated on Apr 20, 2021 02:38 AM IST
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By Swapnil Rawal, Surendra P Gangan, Hindustan Times, Mumbai

The row over the supply of Remdesivir medicine to Maharashtra intensified on Monday with the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi government hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party, accusing former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis of hoarding the antiviral drug.

The Shiv Sena alleged that the BJP was aiding the black-marketing of the medicine, even as the BJP accused the state government of resorting to “childish politics”.

Targeting the BJP, Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, “What happened [on Saturday] is unfortunate. Whether it is Maharashtra’s opposition or any other [party], nobody should indulge in politics over any medicine. I do not know what is the helplessness of Maharashtra’s opposition party that they are standing in support of black marketers, hoarders and profiteers.”

He was referring to Fadnavis calling the questioning of Daman-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Bruck Pharma’s director about a stock of the drug “a shameful act”. The executive, who was supposed to supply Remdesivir to Maharashtra, was questioned by the Vile Parle police for about 45 minutes on Saturday and later let go.

The opposition leader visited the police station on Saturday night along with other BJP leaders and enquired why the executive was questioned.

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The Congress, which is a part of the MVA government, also slammed the BJP leader.

State revenue minister and Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat said, “We did not understand the need for leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis to go to the police station. He has worked as the chief minister, and we expected him to help to handover the stock to the government....”

The BJP hit back, saying that the ruling alliance was politicizing the issue. A delegation of BJP leaders also met Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari over the issue.

Fadnavis said the BJP was trying to procure the anti-viral drug for the people of Maharashtra. “...Even this time, we were trying to ensure that the stock of Remdesivir is procured for the people of Maharashtra. It was not meant for the BJP, but for the patients in the state.”

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Friday, October 22, 2021