June 7, 2021 11:35:31 am
NCP leader and state Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif Sunday alleged that Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla left India because the central government chastised him for promising to supply 1.5 crore vaccine doses to Maharashtra.
Speaking at an event in Ahmednagar, Mushrif said that on the one hand, the Modi government was asking the state governments to procure vaccines on their own, and on the other threatening suppliers which were ready to supply.
“When Maharashtra announced that we will conduct free vaccination for all above 18 years of age, we floated global tenders but no vaccine company responded. Pune-based Serum Institute of India, whose CEO is Adar Poonawalla and the main owner is Cyrus Poonawalla, who is (Sharad) Pawar’s classmate, had promised to supply (for Maharashtra) 1.5 crore vaccines from June onwards. However, the next day itself he was chastised by the central government and the poor soul left for London and is not ready to come back,” said Mushrif.
The Poonawallas are in London for over a month now. Cyrus Poonawalla has said the family was on a routine visit, something that it does every year during this time. Adar has said that he would return to India soon.
Mushrif said that it was wrong on the central government’s part to create such impediments for states to procure vaccines. “The vaccine is being produced in our state, in our Pune but is not being allowed to be made available to Maharashtra. On the one hand, they (central government) say the state can procure the vaccine, and on the other hand, threatening the suppliers. This is not proper,” said Mushrif, adding that it was time the Central government took control of vaccination procurement and provided them to the states.
Mushrif also appreciated the generosity of US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for agreeing to help India with Covid-19 vaccines, despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi “campaigning against them” during the US presidential election last year.
“Kamala Harris is of Indian origin and I must congratulate both President Biden and Harris for their generosity that they have agreed to provide 25 million doses to India despite Narendra Modi campaigning against them. PM Modi had organised a Namaste Trump rally in Ahmedabad during the Covid season last year. But being of Indian origin, Kamala Harris has decided to help India,” said Mushrif.
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