Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet project, Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) has been losing steam with each passing year since its launch in 2014, official data suggests. While 500 Lok Sabha MPs and 203 Rajya Sabha MPs (of a combined strength of 796 MPs) chose to identify one gram panchayat each from their constituencies for focused development in the first phase of the programme, only 364 Lok Sabha MPs and 133 Rajya Sabha MPs opted to choose a second village in the next phase. The MPs, who have adopted a third village are even less - 225 Lok Sabha MPs and 58 Rajya Sabha MPs, so far.
PM Modi, however, outshines all other MPs as he has adopted four villages and exceeded SAGY 's 3 village adoption target for individual MPs during 2014-2019 period. Uttar Pradesh, the state Modi represents in the Parliament has also outperformed most of the other states, with 60 out of 80 Lok Sabha MPs and 6 out of 31 Rajya Sabha MPs, adopting three villages each during the period. Tamil Nadu and Kerala are the other best performing states.
Overall, integrated development activities have been initiated in over 1200 gram panchayats across the country in the last five years. According to the disclosure made by the government, out of the 1,471 gram panchayats identified under SAGY, 1,206 gram panchayats have uploaded their village development plans (VDPs) containing 65,252 projects by 6th February 2019. Implementation of 33,428 (51 per cent) projects has been completed too.
Under the SAGY framework, the development of these chosen gram panchayats is envisaged through convergence and implementation of existing government schemes and programmes, under the administrative control of respective ministries without allocating additional funds. While the MP chooses the village and provides overall guidance, the development works are jointly facilitated by the gram panchayat, civil society and the government machinery, according to the VDP that prioritises time-bound activities to achieve holistic progress of the village.
Modi government had amended as many as 26 central schemes to accord priority for the SAGY Gram Panchayats. A compilation of 223 central sector/centrally sponsored and 1,806 state schemes for convergence under SAGY for the benefit of Members of Parliament, district and village level officials were also prepared for this purpose. The nodal ministry - the Ministry of Rural Development coordinates with other central ministries to ensure four key basic services - power, drinking water, roads and education are provided in all SAGY gram panchayats.
While MPs across party lines had shown interest in adopting at least one village, West Bengal MPs did not patronise the programme from the very beginning. Of the 42 Lok Sabha MPs only 5 opted for the first phase, while just two MPs took it forward to the other two phases. None of the 16 Rajya Sabha MPs from West Bengal adopted any SAGY village.