Dawood aide is member of Bharatiya Janata Party, alleges Nationalist Congress Party
Bhati was arrested last year for having two passports with different names — Riyaz Bhati and Phoolchand Bhati. He was arrested at Mumbai airport after Intelligence Bureau (IB) issued a red-corner notice against himmumbai Updated: Oct 21, 2016 00:07 IST
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Thursday alleged Riyaz Bhati, alleged aide of gangster Dawood Ibrahim, has been made an office-bearer of the Mumbai wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP has refuted the allegations saying Bhati was not associated with the party.
Bhati was arrested last year for having two passports with different names — Riyaz Bhati and Phoolchand Bhati. He was arrested at Mumbai airport after Intelligence Bureau (IB) issued a red-corner notice against him. Bhati’s first passport was issued in Jaipur in June 2007 under the name Phoolchand Bhati, NCP spokesman Nawab Malik told reporters.
“Despite that, he was released on bail within 15 days,” Malik said, asking why Bhati wasn’t charged with MCOCA and on what grounds was he given security cover. Malik also asked Fadnavis, who is also the home minister, to clarify his relation with Dawood’s close aide.
Malik alleged Bhati was provided police security when he went to Nagpur along with BJP Mumbai president Ashish Shelar during the winter session of the state legislature in 2014. He was also made a member of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), Malik said, hinting at Bhati’s closeness with Shelar, who is now the vice-president of the MCA.
The NCP also alleged Bhati was seen in photographs with the chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The allegations come at a time when the chief minister is already in trouble for being seen in a photograph with Baba Bodke, a criminal from Pune. “A few days ago, the CM was seen with Baba Bodke, a criminal. The CMO claimed Fadnavis did not know anything about Bodke’s background. This is false as Fadnavis, during his stint as an MLA, had demanded RR Patil’s (the then home minister) resignation when he was seen at NCP’s event a few years ago,” Malik said.
The BJP, meanwhile, plans to file a defamation case against Malik. “Bhati has nothing to do with the BJP or any of his leaders,” said BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari. He said the executive committee of the Mumbai wing of the party is yet to be declared and he cannot become an office-bearer.
Bhandari said Bhati is just a member of a club associated with the MCA and Malik should take his queries to Sharad Pawar, the president of MCA.