Maharashtra’s Minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik on Saturday had launched a scathing attack on the opposition party in Maharashtra accusing them of hoarding Remdesivir- an antiviral drug being used for Covid treatment, by sourcing it from Bruck Pharma. The NCP leader furthered his allegation by repeating the claims in multiple media interactions on Sunday.
“The BJP is trying to ensure that Maharashtra doesn’t get its stock of Remdesivir,” alleged @nawabmalikncp, whose party shares power in the state with the Shiv Sena and Congress.https://t.co/o1pmVkMiJS— Deccan Herald (@DeccanHerald) April 18, 2021
In a series of tweets on April 17, Nawab Malik had claimed that 16 export oriented units in India presently have over 20 lakh vials of Remdesivir and since the government of India has temporarily banned exports, these units are seeking to sell these vials in India. Malik claimed that the government of India is restricting these export units from selling and has ordered that only the 7 Pharma companies that are producing the drug should sell it. He called it a decision making crisis, alleging that those 7 Pharma companies are refusing to take responsibility.
Kirit Somaiya busts his lie, shows Bruck Pharma’s approval letter
BJP leader Kirit Somaiya has now come out to diffuse the baseless allegations made by Nawab Malik. Somaiya on Monday tweeted a copy of the official approval letter signed by the Commissioner of Food and Drugs Administration- Maharashtra State, giving a go-ahead to the distribution of the life-saving drug- Remdesivir.
Thackeray Sarkar Nawab Malik ji 48 hours over, U charged GOI PROHIBITED 16 Exporting Companies from giving Remdesivir to Maharashtra. Till Now U have not disclosed Names of 16 Cos or such Prohibition letter. U named 1 Company, that also proved Wrong— Kirit Somaiya (@KiritSomaiya) April 19, 2021
Stop such STUNTS & Diversion pic.twitter.com/YNHS7x6AOq
The order dated April 17 to Bruck Pharma by Maharashtra FDA states, “…this is to inform you that the product Remdesivir for injection 100mg/vial manufactured by you…which is granted to you for an export purpose and was planned for an export is hereby allowed to be distributed under emergency and very high demanding situation of Covid-19 pandemic for Maharashtra Government supply or trade in Maharashtra State only, after complying the necessary requirements. Further you are directed to submit the details of production and distribution to this office.”
The letter stated clearly that Bruck Pharma has the state government’s approval to supply the drug and there is no restriction by the central government in this regard. Somaiya asserted that so far, Malik has not provided any evidence, or named any of the export units that have allegedly been prevented by the central government to sell Remdesivir.
This has punctured the NCP leaders’ attempt to spread fake news, create panic in the state and malign the Centre to hide the failures of the state government.
Congress sympathizer caught spreading fake news
Saket Gokhale, an ardent supporter of the Congress party was also caught spreading the same fake news through his Twitter handle. Unfortunately, his lie and deceit have received over 10k retweets on the social media platform.
Last night, Vile Parle police station in Mumbai seized 4.75 crores worth of Remdesivir vials that were being secretly moved by a Gujarat company.— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) April 18, 2021
Suddenly, @Dev_Fadnavis shows up at the police station late night & says BJP ordered those vials from Daman & Gujarat.
Bruck Pharma vs the MVA government
Just after Nawab Malik attacked the Centre regarding ‘step-motherly’ treatment to non-BJP states and interrupting the supply of Remdesivir, the Mumbai Police on Saturday detained and questioned a director of Bruck Pharmaceuticals over the supply of Remdesivir vials.
As per a statement, the Maharashtra unit of BJP had ordered Remdesivir from the company to be supplied to people in Maharashtra, but as soon as the company readied the product for delivery, the director was detained by the police accusing them of hoarding the drug.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police, zone 8, Manjunath Shinge in a statement cleared their stance saying, “We had received information from our network that a huge quantity of Remdesivir made in Daman is being stored in Mumbai and will be transported out of the country by Air cargo. We all know how important the Remdesivir medicine is for treating Covid-19 patients and it’s a matter of life and death. There is a shortage of this medicine and its export has been stopped by the government. Hence, we acted swiftly and called the owner of the pharma company just to question him about where the medicine has been stored in the city. We acted in good faith for the larger interest of public.”
The director was later released when Devendra Fadnavis and Praveen Darekar produced the permission letter at the police station.
Praveen Darekar of the Bhartiya Janta Party who had accompanied Devendra Fadnavis to the police station had informed that the state minister for Food and Drugs Rajendra Shingne was in the know of the plan as the procurement and transportation of the drug required state govt’s permission, however, the MVA leaders continued to indulge in mudslinging to divert attention from their inefficiency.