Support Maha instead of doing politics: Congress to Fadnavis

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Mumbai, Apr 22 (PTI) Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole on Thursday asked Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis to set aside political differences and support the state in its efforts to tackle the 'alarming' COVID-19 situation.

The need of the hour is to see how lives of citizens can be saved by providing them (COVID-19 patients) Remdesivir and oxygen, Patole, whose party shares power in the state with the Shiv Sena and NCP, said in a statement.

'Instead of co-ordinating with the central government to ensure the state gets adequate medical aid, Fadnavis and other BJP leaders in the state only want to work to put the state government into trouble,' he alleged.

Patole said instead of 'behaving irresponsibly', Fadnavis and other state BJP leaders should be the 'voice of Maharashtra' at the Centre.

He asked Fadnavis to set aside political differences and show his commitment towards the state.

The Congress leader said COVID-19 is a 'national calamity' and still Maharashtra had to struggle to procure medicines and medical equipment from the Centre.

Maharashtra needs 50,000 Remdesivir injections daily and the Centre has allocated only 26,000 vials per day. 'Such bias is not good,' Patole said.

'Fadnavis should become the voice of Marathi people in Delhi. If Fadnavis and other BJP leaders can show haste in getting a Remdesivir black-marketeer released from police station, they should show similar urgencyin saving people's lives,' the Congress leader said.

Remdesivir is listed for use in serious COVID-19 patients. In view of a sudden spike in demand of the drug due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Centre last week banned its export till the situation improves.

The Mumbai police on Saturday questioned an executive of a pharmaceutical company following information that a large number of Remdesivir vials were going to be flown abroad by air cargo, despite a ban on the export of the drug.

On learning that the pharma firm official was being quizzed, Fadnavis and another state BJP leader Pravin Darekar had rushed to the police station on Saturday night.

'Amid the pandemic, the Centre was exporting Remdesivir and oxygen to other countries. Instead of paying attention to constructive suggestions of Congress leaders, the BJP mocked them,' Patole alleged. PTI MR GK GK