'Funds are not reaching needy farmers'
Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal has said corruption is one the major factors behind farmer suicides in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra and the Jan Lokpal Bill will bring relief to the distressed peasants.
"Despite whopping amounts sanctioned by the government to curb suicides in the region, it is not reaching the needy farmers because of corruption," Kejriwal, who was in Amravati, Maharashtra to address a public meeting organised by the People for India Forum, told reporters.
'The prices have been kept low'
"Farmers are not getting proper prices for their cotton. The prices have been kept low deliberately; it is all happening because of corruption," he said.
Kejriwal said he was not claiming that all agrarian crises would end after the introduction of the Jan Lokpal Bill, "but it will definitely give some relief to distressed farmers. I can assure you that farmers will not commit suicides."
On the Nagpur incident -- where his supporters reportedly beat up some protestors -- he accused the media of spreading "false stories" about the programme.
'No differences between Anna and me'
"When I learnt that some people waved black flags, I requested volunteers to call those people who were demonstrating at the venue. But by the time our volunteers reached there, police had nabbed them. Those people are also part of our country and I wanted to talk to them but before that, the police rounded them up," Kejriwal said.
He appealed to the media to exercise restraint.
Speaking about blogger Raju Parulekar's claim that Hazare wanted to remove Kejriwal and others from the team, he said, "I don't know why Raju made this statement. There are no differences between Anna and me. Only he (Raju) can explain better (about the issue)."
Image: Arvind Kejriwal with Anna Hazare
'The core committee will be formed soon'
Blogger and journalist Parulekar had claimed that the veteran Gandhian wanted to remove "undemocratic and fascist" Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Prashant Bhushan and "their pawns" from his core group.
The fallout between Hazare and Parulekar came as the former claimed that he never ever spoke to the journalist or met him over the issue of restructuring of his core committee and forming a new pan-Indian organisation with immediate effect.
Talking about why Hazare felt the need to reconstitute the core committee, Kejriwal said, "We want reconstitution so that more people can come in to make a strong Lokpal. The core committee will be formed in the next two to three months."