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Thakur targets Cong over FATF report on bribe for national award

Union minister Anurag Thakur launched a scathing attack on the Congress on Monday over a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) report, which alleged that an Indian banker bought over-valued artwork from a "close relative" of a member of the party as a bribe for national awards. "New models of Congress' corruption are coming to the fore. Now, the FATF has published a case study that shows how a former Union minister in the UPA government pressured an individual into buying Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's average painting for Rs 2 crore," the Union minister for information and broadcasting said in a statement. He was referring to the FATF report titled "Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in the Art and Antiquities Market" that cites the case of a leading Indian banker who bought artwork of no value to pay kickbacks. The report does not name the banker or the politician.

Thakur said the FATF was earlier talked about in the context of Pakistan's continuance on its "grey list" for terror financing but now, the global watchdog is being discussed in the context of an influential family in India. "It is a matter of great shame that the story of corruption of the Gandhi family is made into a case study and being told to the whole world, that too by an organisation that works to stop terror financing," the minister said. The BJP leader said Priyanka Gandhi should come clean on the identity of "Mr A" referred to in the FATF report. "Was Padma Bhushan being given in exchange for money and painting? Is this a corruption model of the Congress? How many other national honours have you sold for money?"Thakur asked the opposition party.

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