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Remdesivir stocking issue: Former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ intervention in the Remdesivir stocking issue in Maharashtra has triggered a massive war of words in a state grappling with a record number of daily virus infections. Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Gaikwad said that he wants to put coronavirus back in Fadnavis’ mouth. The controversy began after the state police questioned the owner of a Daman-based company supplying Remdesivir drug over alleged hoarding. Fadnavis objected to the questioning, saying that the supplier did not indulge in stocking of Remdesivir.
However, the ruling party leaders targeted Fadnavis for not letting the police do its job. Sena leader Gaikwad said that if he had found coronavirus, he “would have stuffed it in the mouth of Fadnavis”. The Buldhana MLA also asked – what would Fadnavis have done if he was the chief minister during the pandemic? Instead of supporting state ministers, the Sena leader said, BJP leaders are mocking them and want the state government to fail. Gaikwad also claimed that the Centre asked Remdesivir manufacturing companies in Maharashtra not to supply the drug to the state. His remarks triggered an angry protest by the BJP workers on Sunday
On Sunday, the Maharashtra Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party accused the BJP of pressuring the Mumbai Police for questioning the director of Bruck Pharma. The police questioned the pharma company official on Saturday over alleged excess stock of the Remdesivir. Fadnavis had said that four days ago, they had requested the pharma company to supply them Remdesivir, but they couldn’t until permission was given. The former chief minister also said that he had spoken to Union minister Mansukh Mandaviya and they got the permission of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Fadnavis objected to the pharma executive’s grilling by the police, saying the Sena-led government in the state was playing politics amid the pandemic.
State Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant targeted the former chief minister and said that he was ‘absolutely astonished’ to see Fadnavis was putting pressure on Mumbai police for a businessman. “What is the fault of the police? They had intelligence that a large stock of 60000 viles (sic) of Remdesivir is hiding with exporters of Brook Laboratories which is not reported…After the export ban, the company must inform the central drug standard control organisation (CDSCO) and state FDA details of stock left with them. Mumbai police had called the director for Inquiry but he kept evading. After 2 days he came. But BJP leaders became so upset that they personally rushed for his support,” Sawant alleged. He further said that when there is a shortage of Remdesivir amid the pandemic, what do you expect from police?