Many MPs not impressed by Modi’s pet village adoption scheme

Saansad-Adarsh-Gram-Yojana

Adoption of a village by MPs may be a programme so dear to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s heart but three of his ministerial colleagues, including Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, are yet to choose one for making it a model village.

The scheme has already invited criticism from a section of MPs, including those from BJP who express their reservation privately, for not earmarking separate funds for the scheme and asking them to use the MPLAD fund.

Parrikar, Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan and singer-turned Minister of State for Urban Development Babul Supriyo are among 119 MPs from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha who are yet to choose villages under Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) launched with much fanfare long back in October 11, 2014.

Besides these three ministers, nine other BJP MPs have also not chosen villages for development. None of the seven MPs from Delhi, which includes Vardhan, have selected a village though one of them Ramesh Bidhuri claimed that he had chosen a village near Bhatti Mines under the scheme.

However, Bidhuri’s claim is not reflected in the SAGY website that is updated almost on a daily basis.

Saansad-Adarsh-Gram-Yojna

It is not these ministers alone who have not chosen villages under the scheme, prominent MPs like Digvijay Singh, Anand Sharma and Jairam Ramesh (all Congress), Sitaram Yechury (CPIM), D Raja (CPI), K C Tyagi (JD-U), Derek O’Brien (Trinamool Congress) and Kirron Kher (BJP) have also not selected their choices.

From Karnataka, Congress’ K Rahman Khan and B K Hariprasad and industrialist Vijay Mallya have not chosen any village. MPs from West Bengal seem to be the least interested about the scheme as 55 out of the 59 MPs from the state have not chosen a village.

While SP MP Naresh Agarwal has announced his decision to give up the village he adopted under the scheme, some MPs like Tapan Sen (CPI-M MP from West Bengal) have decided not to adopt a village at all as the scheme itself is “flawed”.

“I don’t have any plan to adopt a village. It is a flawed concept. The money should be given for projects and not village,” Sen told Deccan Herald.

A Kerala MP, who wished not to be named, said some voters of a particular village even told him that they would not vote for him next time as he chose another village under the scheme.

During the Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha last week, Agarwal said he was “misled” to adopt a village and demanded the government to outline the guidelines for the scheme under which an MP has to identify and develop one village as a model village by 2016, and two more by 2019, covering over 2,500 villages of the 6 lakh villages country-wide.

NUMBER OF MPs who have NOT ADOPTED Villages

Trinamool Congress – 41

Congress – 21

BJP – 12

SP – 11

BJD – 5

JD(U) – 4

CPI(M) – 3

TDP – 3

Prominent MPs who have NOT ADOPTED Villages

Manohar Parrikar, Harsh Vardhan,  Babul Supriyo,  Digvijay Singh, Anand Sharma, Jairam Ramesh, Sitaram Yechury, D Raja, K C Tyagi, Derek O’Brien, Kirron Kher,  K Rahman Khan, B K Hariprasad, Vijay Mallya, Renuka Chaudhary, Satyavrat Chaturvedi, Rekha, Javed Akthar, H K Dua, Mrinal Miri, Saugata Roy, Mukul Roy, Dinesh Trivedi, Mithun Chakrabarty, Asasuddin Owaissi, Dileep Tirkey.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Mar 28, 2015)

Also Read 

SP MP gives up adopted village in protest https://sheminjoy.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/sp-mp-gives-up-adopted-village-in-protest/

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