Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar today denied allegations that were made by the BJP against him stating that the Deputy CM hijacked Bharat Biotech's vaccination project from Vidarbha to Pune. Mr Pawar said, "it is the decision of the Bombay High Court itself of alloting a land to Bharat Biotech in Pune for setting up vaccination plant and as the Guardian Minister of Pune District, I have fulfilled my responsibility to ensure that the orders of the High Court are complied with."
He further said, "I would have been happy if Bharat Biotech's vaccine manufacturing project had taken place anywhere in the state including Pune and Nagpur."
The Deputy CM clarified that the allegation of BJP MLA Krishna Khopade that 'Bharat Biotech project was hijacked by Ajit Pawar in Pune' is totally false, misleading to the people, it is an attempt to create a political sensation for the publicity.
Considering the Covid-19 crisis in the country and the need for vaccine production, Bharat Biotech had demanded to get land for a vaccine project in Pune on its own. For this, Bharat Biotech has set up a closed 'Intervet India Pvt. Ltd.' at Manjari. (Biovet) had proposed to the state government to get the company's land. Bharat Biotech approached the High Court seeking an immediate decision on the proposal.
The High Court, in view of the crisis of covid and the need for vaccine production, directed to start Bharat Biotech project at Manjari in Haveli taluka of Pune.
Ajit Pawar has appealed to BJP MPs not to mislead the people by lying. The whole of Maharashtra is fighting in unity against COVID-19. "The Mahavikas Aghadi government is committed to the industrial, economic and infrastructural development of every district and division of the state," he added.
Mr Pawar has also asked the officers to initiate talks with Bharat Biotech to get 50% of its total production of Covaxin doses in the Pune plant to be supplied to Maharashtra while the balance will go to the Centre.
Pawar, after holding a review of the COVID 19 status in Pune district, said, ‘’It will take around three months for the company to start production of vaccines from this facility. The state government will request Bharat Biotech to give priority to supply 50% vaccine doses to Maharashtra after fulfilling its commitments to the Centre. If the state gets half the vaccine, it will benefit the people here as it will also speed up the vaccination,’’ he added.