In first signs of trouble in the village adopted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi under the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY), a retired Armyman accused the gram pradhan and her representative of carrying out the development works only in selected areas.
The matter came to fore when Modi’s principal secretary Nripendra Misra visited Jayapur village, in Varanasi on Saturday and held an open meeting with the villagers.
A couple of villagers claimed that development works were being carried out in selective areas of the village, allegedly at the behest of the pradhan Durga Devi and her representative Narayan Patel.
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A retired Armyman, Ravindra Pratap Singh, said the works should not be carried out through Durga Devi or Patel and demanded that the BJP should form a committee to deal with all development works. He went on to add that if pradhan was allowed to continue deciding such matter, things may even lead to murder.
While assuring the villagers that their well-meaning demands will be met, Misra also insisted that they should focus on creating an environment of togetherness and participatory approach in planning the development of the village.
“I felt anguished when the retired Armyman said that a murder will take place, if his issues were not dealt with. Why murder? You must sit and sort things out among yourselves,” Misra said.
The official, however, lauded the fact that almost all the villagers now have a bank account and an Aadhaar card. He urged them to get the two linked.
Misra also stressed on the need for extending the LPG service in the village, which predominantly depends on traditional methods for cooking.
Of the several memoranda that he was handed, Misra said he was taking one with him in which a post-graduate college has been demanded in Zakkhini, a couple of kilometres away from the village. The villagers wanted the existing degree college there to be upgraded. Misra also later visited the College.
Some of the other demands of the villagers were: a skill development centre, a soil testing centre, besides water, sanitation and power.
Member of Parliament from Navsari (Gujarat), C R Patil, who has been sent to look after the development works being carried out in the village, Varanasi Commissioner R M Srivastava, District Magistrate Pranjal Yadav and other officials were present on the occasion.
The development works currently going on in the village include: solar lighting, construction of bus stop, aangandwadi centres and toilets in all the houses, pucca houses for Vanvasis and several other activities.