Mumbai: Manish Bhanushali, a BJP worker in Delhi, who was present along with the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) team during the raid on a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast on October 2, on Wednesday rejected allegations of a BJP-NCB nexus. Bhanushali clarified that he had no official position in the party and announced that he would file a defamation case against Malik.
Bhanushali found himself in the public glare after NCP Minister Nawab Malik, while releasing purported video clips, alleged that Bhanushali was involved in the NCB raid on the luxury ship Cordelia Cruises.
Malik questioned in what capacity Bhanushali had been present there. He said that Bhanushali had posted photos with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President JP Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Leader of the Opposition in Maha Assembly Devendra Fadnavis, plus current and former Central and state ministers and other senior BJP leaders.
Incidentally, the NCB later clarified that Bhanushali was one of the eyewitnesses who had submitted his say.
Bhanushali said that Malik’s allegations were baseless and that the BJP had nothing to do with the arrests. “Malik has levelled false allegations against me. BJP has nothing to do with the arrests. I received a tip-off on October 1 from my friend about the presence of drugs and the party on the Cordelia Cruises. Thereafter, I alerted the Narcotics Control Bureau,” he added.
Bhanushali noted that he was with the NCB officers on the ship for updated information.
He said that he shared information as a ‘common man’ and demanded that drug peddlers should be exposed. “I didn’t know about Aryan Khan. I didn’t know he was on the cruise. My life is in danger now due to the NCP. Nawab Malik’s relative was held by the NCB; this is why he wants to defame it,” he added.
“I will file a defamation case against Nawab Malik. He has put my life in danger. I will request the authorities to provide me with security,” he further said.