Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojna launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had received good response in UP with 79 out of the 80 Lok Sabha MPs and 17 of 31 Rajya Sabha MPs from the state adopting villages for their development.
But when the Centre asked these MPs to attend orientation programmes to learn about the scheme, only 21 out of 71 BJP MPs turned up for the programme held in Lucknow on November 17 and February 5. While Congress MPs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi completed the formality by sending their representatives, no SP MP turned up for programme.
In Lok Sabha, BJP has 71 MPs, its ally Apna Dal two, SP five and Congress two from the state. Except SP’s Firozabad MP Akshay Yadav, all Lok Sabha MPs have adopted villages.
In Rajya Sabha, while BSP currently has 10 members, SP has 15 and BJP and Congress have three each from UP. While all three Congress members have adopted villages, only four members of SP, eight of BSP and two of BJP have adopted villages so far. Others, including BJP MP and Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, are yet to adopt a village.
The orientation programme was organised by Deendayal Upadhyaya Rajya Gramin Vikas Sansthan of the UP government at its campus in Bakshi Ka Talab. It was first organised in November when only 20 Lok Sabha MP (all of BJP) and one Rajya Sabha member – BSP’s Salim Ansari – turned up. Nineteen MPs, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul and those of BJP, sent their representatives.
But as the Centre insisted that MPs would have to attend the programme themselves, another one-day orientation programme was organised on February 5. But this time, it was attended by only two Lok Sabha MPs — Apna Dal’s Mirzapur MP Anupriya Patel and BJP MP from Banda, Bhairon Prasad Mishra.
Seven Lok Sabha and one Rajya Sabha MPs sent their representatives to the programme. They were – representatives of Lok Sabha MPs from Basti, Ambedkar Nagar, Amroha, Ballia, Kaushambi (all BJP), Pratapgarh (Apna Dal) and Rae Bareli (Congress); and Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP Satish Sharma, who has adopted a village in Rae Bareli.
Organisers said that other BSP Rajya Sabha MPs and both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members of SP did not turn up in any of the orientation programmes. There are five cabinet ministers, seven MoS and one MoS with independent charge from UP in the Centre. These ministers did not send their representatives too.
“The Centre and the training centre wanted the MPs to attend the orientation programme personally. But most have skipped the programme held twice in last three months,” said Dr Vadani, Additional Director of Deendayal Upadhyaya Rajya Gramin Vikas Sansthan.
Vadani added that the institute will send a report to the Centre with a request that a similar programme be held for remaining MPs in Delhi where they could easily turn up.