As blame-game between the Maharashtra and Union government over supply of medical oxygen and Remdesivir drug to treat critical coronavirus patients continued, BJP leaders stepped in to hit out at Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson Nawab Malik for raising allegations against the Centre.
Malik, also a Maharashtra Minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led dispensation, on Saturday took to Twitter alleging discrimination on the part of the Centre and said the latter has asked some export companies not to supply the Remdisivir drug to the state and warned them of cancelling their licence if they failed to comply with the directive. To prove his point, he posted an image of a letter from the Food and Drugs Control Administration that he claimed a central government order issued to ‘one of the export companies’ to supply Remdesivir to Gujarat only. However, the letter turned out to be one written by the FDA of the Gujarat government asking a company (BDR Lifesciences Ltd) to supply the drug to the state, and not an order of the Central government.
Soon after, BJP MP Manoj Kotak shared images of two identical letters issued by the FDAs of the respective state governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat, stating the Centre has no role in the matter. He said Malik’s act of “spreading misinformation during pandemic is criminal” and the latter should not involve politics when lives of public are at stake.
The letters issued by the FDA of the resp.states @nawabmalikncp1) Centre has no role in this 2) BDR Pharma had applied to Maharshtra and Gujarat Govt for permission Both state govts sanctioned the same in the prescribed format as shown below pic.twitter.com/U28INkt5uq— Manoj Kotak (@manoj_kotak) April 17, 2021
BJP leader Poonam Mahajan also hit out at Malik saying the question of step-motherly treatment does not arise here and the MVA government, led by Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, can only blame the Centre when it fails to fulfil its own role.
पत्र गुजरात सरकारचे. लिहिले गुजरात मधल्या कंपनीला. दोष केंद्राचा…आम्ही करणार काहीच नाही. फक्त दोष देणार केंद्र सरकारला…
अजब तुझे सरकार! https://t.co/IJwFTxZy3K
— Poonam Mahajan (@poonam_mahajan) April 17, 2021
Mumbai BJP spokesperson Suresh Nakhua also shared the two letters — one written by the BJP-led Gujarat government on April 12 and the other written by the Mava Vikas Aghadi dispensation on April 16 — to state that the the MVA government has not been prompt enough in dealing with the crisis.
Nakhua said the MVA government was busy in other activities instead of controlling the pandemic and now it was crying foul as the situation was going out of hand.
In a series of tweets, Malik had further said, “It is sad and shocking that when Government of Maharashtra asked the 16 export companies for #Remdesivir, we were told that Central Government has asked them not to supply the medicine to #Maharashtra. These companies were warned, if they did, their license will be cancelled
Stating that this is a dangerous precedent, Malik further said, “…and under these circumstances, Maharashtra Government will have no choice but to seize the stock of Remdesivir from these exporters and supply it to the needy.”
Union Minister of State for Chemical and Fertilisers Mansukh Mandaviya then hit out at Malik saying the latter’s tweets are full of half truths and his threats are unacceptable.