Gujarat BJP president CR Patil announced that 5,000 doses of Remdesivir injections would be made available free of cost by the party in Surat amid a shortage of the same in the state.
During his interaction with the media on Friday, April 9, the state BJP President failed to explain how he managed to get the stock despite the government mandating that not more than six doses of Remdesivir will be sold without a doctor's prescription. Patil also did not answer if he had a license for the stock.
The same questions were later posed to state Chief Minister Vijay Rupani who said that the media must ask Patil for the answers.
Soon after the CM'S response, Gujarati daily Divya Bhaskar published Patil's phone number on its front page on Sunday, April 11.
The newspaper read: "9824127694. This number belongs to the 'government' of injections, CR Patil. People in need should call Patil and ask for injections...because Rupani has said questions on how CR Patil got the injections should be asked from him only."
"When people are unable to get Remdesivir injections despite standing in line for hours, then how did 5,000 injections reach BJP president CR Patil? The government must respond," the report added.
Divya Bhaskar published another report quoting Patil as saying that his "friends got him the injections".
The newspaper also asked if a case would be registered against him.
A third piece titled "Tamne khabar hovi joiye", or "you should know", read: "This drama is shocking." Who are these "friends" of Patil, it asked, handing him injections worth Rs 50 lakh for free? What do the BJP and Patil plan on giving these "friends" in return?
"Ek vaat nichschit che ke Patil e maarelu aa injection sarkaar ne bahu dukhse pan unhkaaro nahi kari shakaay," it added.
Gujarat reported more than 5,400 COVID-19 infections and 54 fatalities in the last 24 hours.
Earlier today, the Gujarat High Court pulled up the state government over the current Coronavirus situation in the state. The HC said that the situation "is heading towards a health emergency of sorts", observing that news was filled with "harrowing tales, unfortunate and unimaginable difficulties, unmanageable conditions of the infrastructure, the shortfall and the deficit of not only testing, availability of beds, ICU, but also supply of oxygen and the basic medicines like Remdesivir".