More than two months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojna (SAGY) and asked MPs to adopt villages for their holistic development, nearly 200 MPs are dragging their feet.
According to rural development ministry's record, 101 of 541 Lok Sabha MPs and 93 of 243 Rajya Sabha MPs haven't adopted villages yet. A majority of them are from opposition parties, primarily the Congress, Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Left, who say the scheme would lead to uneven development.
But some BJP MPs are also lagging behind including power minister Piyush Goyal and health minister JP Nadda - neither could be reached for comments. Others from the BJP include Hazaribagh MP Jayant Sinha, northeast Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari and Godda MP Nishikant Dubey.
From the Congress, former PM Manmohan Singh and former rural development minister Jairam Ramesh have still not adopted a village.
The scheme, launched on October 11, mandated that all MPs choose villages by November 11.
TMC spokesperson Derek O Brien told HT his party had decided not to adopt villages as a matter of policy. "Significant developmental work has taken place in rural Bengal in the last three years. Our understanding is that if you adopt a single village then the others feel neglected and left out," he said.
In the Lok Sabha 34 of the 101 MPs who have not adopted villages belong to TMC.
The left parties have taken a similar stand. Sitaram Yechuri of CPM said the scheme would lead to uneven development.
"Why should certain villages be given preferential treatment" he asked.
Under SAGY, each MP has to take responsibility for three villages and turn them into a 'model village' by 2019 through convergence of different government schemes and their effective implementation.
Modi, at the scheme's launch, said SAGY would help MPs resolve bottlenecks in government schemes. Despite this 10 of 12 BJP Lok Sabha MPs from Jharkhand and eight BJP MPs from UP have not adopted villages.