Selective leaks by investigative agencies a matter of credibility: Prithviraj Chavan, Cong

Prithviraj Chavan, former Maharashtra Chief Minister and senior Congress leader, was speaking to Kailashnath Adhikari, Managing Director, Governance Now, during the Visionary Talk series

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Apr 9, 2021 9:05 AM
Prithviraj Chavan - Kailashnath Adhikari

Raising concerns on the leak of aspects of the ongoing investigation into the incidents leading to political turmoil in the state of Maharashtra, former Maharashtra chief minister and senior Congress leader, Prithviraj Chavan has said NIA is selectively leaking info on the case and it was a serious matter.

The issues in case of police matters are intermingled and leading to a common thread, and allegations of corruption are being investigated by CBI under High Court order and the CBI inquiry would be over in 15 days' time.

“The NIA  which is conducting a separate probe is interestingly leaking certain parts of investigations; a letter purportedly written by Vaze has been made public. The credibility of investigating agencies is at stake as selective leaks coming out of investigative agencies is a matter of credibility and does not inspire confidence on both agencies and their processes,” said Chavan, adding that simultaneously an inquiry set up by the chief minister under the chairmanship of retired Bombay High Court Judge, K U Chandiwal is also going on.  

He was speaking to Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now, during the webcast of the Visionary Talk series held by the public policy and governance analysis platform.

Speaking from his hometown of Karad in Satara district of Maharashtra,159 kms away from Pune, Chavan said the city has run out of vaccine stocks today. He called for transparency in the supply of vaccines and voiced for vaccination for all subject to its availability.

Chavan said that Serum Institute is the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines and located in Pune from where it is distributing throughout the state. Besides, Maharashtra also receives part of its supply from Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad. He said, "there is lack of transparency at the central govt level… much of the vaccine from both companies is being exported, how much is being distributed within the country, to the states, datewise….because the moment a shipment arrives it is further sent to regions and districts..  it is operating very well.. but we have to get a clearance from the govt for Pune stocks to be given to Maharashtra.”    

Chavan said data must be available on the numbers of vaccine availability and its sequencing. Serum institute which is manufacturing 60 million doses.. how much of that is committed to being given back to the UK under the AstraZeneca Oxford university agreement should be known. How much vaccine is govt commandeering as sale,  as an export (sale or as gifts to foreign countries) as part of vaccine diplomacy which will give a clear picture of finally what is left for domestic consumption. “Subject to international commitments we will have to see how much vaccine is available for domestic distribution.”

Responding to a question on Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray asking the center to allow vaccination for all, when in fact Maharashtra is facing a shortage of vaccine and if this will lead to chaos, he said, "While there is no denying the fact that everyone has to be vaccinated, it will depend on sequencing which will depend on the availability of vaccine."

Chavan also said that govt can consider allowing small traders and businessmen to work few days a week as their businesses have been badly affected after the earlier lockdown. “While nobody has a perfect answer and there is a possibility it could have been an error....should we err on the side of caution or err on the side of livelihoods… the call of the chief minister…my suggestion to the CM would be..  traders are perfectly willing to comprise….. they can be allowed to function 3-4 days of the week strictly following the covid protocol and social distancing norms, every single employee of the establishment must be vaccinated on priority…. could be allowed to function maybe up to 6 pm ...”

“Currently the crisis is about insignificantly small groups banned to earn livelihoods and traders who are not in the essential category group, forming a large group, some relief need to given to them subject to certain conditions,” he said.

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