Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s adopt-a-village initiative for MPs has caught on with parliamentarians from Uttar Pradesh, but for a few notable exceptions such as Naresh Agarwal and Jaya Bachchan.
Dimple Yadav, daughter-in-law of Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, led the way for a party not known to be in happy terms with the BJP to approve Modi’s Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojna when she adopted Muslim-majority Sakri village in Kannauj, her constituency.
Father-in-law followed with Tamoli in Azamgarh, as did two other Lok Sabha MPs of the party — barring Firozabad’s Akshay Yadav who has yet to identify his village of choice.
“He too would adopt a village soon. The selection process is on,” party leader Dilip Yadav said.
If only one of the five SP Lok Sabha members have yet to pitch in, the record for its nine Rajya Sabha MPs wasn’t pleasing. Only three — Kiranmoy Nanda, Darshan Singh Yadav and Vishambhar Prasad Nishad — have made it to the list.
According to the programme’s official website, the party’s two prominent Rajya Sabha members — Naresh Agarwal, whose son Nitin is a minister in the Akhilesh Yadav government, and actress-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan — have yet to adopt a village.
Eighty MPs from UP straddling both houses of Parliament have adopted a village each. The state sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha and 31 to the Rajya Sabha.
The adoption spree began after Prime Minister Modi, who represents Varanasi in Parliament, adopted Jayapur in his constituency.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi was the first among the non-BJP members to join the initiative, adopting Urwa in her Rae Bareli constituency, while party vice-president Rahul Gandhi took up Jagdispur in Amethi.
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati has adopted Mall village in Malihabad.
Each MP is expected to take responsibility of developing infrastructure in three villages by the 2019 under the programme launched on October 11. If all the MPs develop three each, 333 villages in the state will benefit in the next five years.
For the record, UP has nearly 100,000 villages.