A young relative of Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis shared a photo of him getting COVID-19 prevention vaccine, triggering a controversy as he does not fulfil the age criteria to receive the shot.
As the photo of Tanmay Fadnavis, who appears to be in his 20s, went viral on social media on Monday, Devendra Fadnavis's office in Nagpur issued a statement on Tuesday, saying it was "completely improper" if the age criteria has been violated and added that all should follow rules.
Tanmay is a grandson of Devendra Fadnavis's aunt Shobatai Fadnavis, a senior BJP leader and former minister.
He took the vaccine dose at the National Cancer Institute in Nagpur and posted the photo on social media.
As the controversy over violation of age criteria for vaccination raged, Devendra Fadnavis sought to distance himself from the row.
The statement from the former chief minister's office said,"The concerned person, Tanmay Fadnavis, is my distant relative andI am not aware of under which criteria he received the vaccine."
"If he is eligible for vaccination then I have no objection and if he is not eligible than it is completely improper."
"Even, my wife and daughter have not yet received vaccine as per the criteria. Although, all above the age of 18 years can take vaccine (from May 1), all should follow the rules," the Leader of Opposition in the assembly said.
At present, the vaccination is open only to those aged 45 and above.
On Monday, the Centre announced that everyone above 18 years of age will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 from May 1.
Meanwhile, talking to reporters in Nagpur on Tuesday, Fadnavis alleged favoritism in allotment of Remdesivir in Maharashtra and said badly-affected districts were not getting adequate stock of the COVID-19 drug which is in high demand.
He welcomed the Bombay high court ruling calling for a need-based distribution of Remdesivir.
The Nagpur bench of the HC had on Monday directed the Maharashtra government to immediately release 10,000 vials of Remdesivir to Nagpur district.
The bench had said it did not understand the logic behind allotting over 5,000 vials of Remdesivir for around 2,000 beds in Thane, but allocating only about 3,000 vials of the drug for 8,000 COVID-19 beds in Nagpur.
Fadnavis said, "I welcome the decision of the High Court... the allotment of Remdesivir across Maharashtra was being done in wrong way by the state government."
Some ministers were getting Remdesivir for their respective divisions in huge numbers, while Nagpur, which has a high number of COVID-19 patients, was not receiving the injections in proper proportion, the BJP leader said.