New Delhi: While Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going full throttle on his focus on villages with the latest chant ‘Gram Uday se Bharat Uday’, his flagship programme, initiated in 2014, soon after he took over the reins, are in tatters with few Members of Parliament (MPs) showing interest.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
In its second year, the village adoption programme - Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna - managed to interest only 43 Lok Sabha (LS) MPs and 8 lawmakers in Rajya Sabha (RS) who have pledged their support to village panchayats. In its first year, the scheme had a better response, with 499 LS MPs adopting villages.
While in RS, 200 MPs adopted the scheme in the first year and 52 did not. In the drought-hit Maharastra, only three out of 48 LS MPs have taken part in the programme. None of the LS MPs from Gujarat, Haryana, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Arunanchal Pradesh, Assam, Uttarakhand, Tripura, Sikkim and Goa have shown interest.
In the scheme, MPs have to identify one village panchayat every year to build it up as a role model with the help of the MPLAD fund. A Lok Sabha MP has to choose a gram panchayat from within the constituency and a Rajya Sabha MP can adopt a gram panchayat of the state he or she represents.
“The scheme is unique and transformative as it has a holistic approach towards development. It envisages integrated development of the selected village across multiple areas such as agriculture, health, education, sanitation, etc,” the Rural Development Ministry website says about the programme.
“One of the reason for taking less interest in adopting a village is the negative reaction from people of other village panchayats. Also, the programme is more beneficial in those states where the state government is co-operative, as Central government schemes are implemented through state governments,” said Dr Arun Kumar, RLSP, Lok Sabha MP from Jehanabad, Bihar.
In addition to Modi, Sushma Swaraj, Ram Vilas Paswan, Nirmala Sitharam, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Thaavar Chand Gehlot and Babul Supriyo are among the prominent ministers who have adopted a village.