BJP, Maharashtra govt spar over Remdesivir supply
A row between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling alliance in Maharashtra intensified on Sunday, with the BJP calling for an FIR over allegations that the Centre was blocking the supply of Remdesivir medicine to the state.
Maharashtra home minister Dilip Walse Patil on Sunday accused the BJP of trying to pressurise the Mumbai Police and interfere in their work. He said the city police received a specific input that 50,000 vials of Remdesivir were being brought to the city, and added that the director of Bruck Pharma was called for questioning on Saturday in that connection.
Vile Parle police summoned a director of Bruck Pharma, a Daman-based pharmaceutical manufacturer of Remdesivir for questioning about a stock of the drug. The executive was questioned at the police station for more than 45 minutes and was let go later.
Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis said that the detention of the executive of Bruck Pharma, who was supposed to supply Remdesivir to Maharashtra, was a shameful act. “We visited the police station and DCP office to ask what was his offence. He had taken all permissions from Maharashtra and Daman administration…,” he said.
Mumbai police are likely to call the director of the pharma company for one more round of questioning for allegedly stocking thousands of Remdesivir medicine vials, an official told PTI on Sunday.
Fadnavis visited the police station on Saturday night along with other BJP leaders. The leader enquired why the director of the pharmaceutical company was called to the police station, he said in the statement.
Fadnavis said that permission was taken from the FDA commissioner to donate the stock of Remdesevir vials to the Maharashtra government, as Remdesevir stocked for export cannot be diverted to the domestic market without the nod of the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) or the FDA.
Patil said: “A probe is on whether the stock was to be sold to private parties or to the government. The stock is at present with the company. It was not going to the government… Investigation is being carried out to find out to whom it was being given.”
Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole, meanwhile, demanded action against Fadnavis and other leaders for “pressuring police to let off” the pharma company director.