Rae BARELI: Just by adopting a village and projecting it as a "model" one will not solve the problems being faced by over six lakh villages in the country, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today said while referring to Centre's 'Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana'.
"The Central government scheme has been launched...I had to choose a village but there are 700 villages in my Constituency.
"My belief is that along with Amethi's, people of all the 6.50 lakh villages of the country should be strengthened," Gandhi said while speaking in Jagdhispur village selected by him under the scheme.
The Congress leader called for empowering villagers rather than villages.
"The situation in all the villages will not change by selecting one village...if the villages have to be changed, villagers would have to be given strength," Gandhi who arrived on two-day visit here said.
But, at the same time, Gandhi assured that he will extend his help for the success of the scheme but the "schemes should not be forced on villagers."
"But, if the scheme has been brought why must I not help you," Rahul said adding that he wants the villages to develop but schemes, telling them how to behave, should not be forced on them.
Pointing to the district officials including District Magistrate Mahendra Kumar who were present on the occasion, the Congress MP said,"nothing was known about the funds for the scheme" and sought to know from where the budget would come.
On his decision of selecting Jagdishpur, Gandhi said that Akhilesh Pratap Singh, an Air Force officer from this village, had laid down his life during the rescue operations in Uttarakhand floods and he had come here then also to pay homage.
"I decided to adopt it to pay respect to his memory and his sacrifice," Gandhi said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched 'Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana' on the occasion of birth anniversary of Jai Prakash Narayan as was promised in his maiden Independence Day speech.
Launching the scheme, Modi had said that if nearly 800 MPs develop three village each by 2019, around 2,500 villages will be covered in the country and the initiative will change the face of the country by chain reaction.
At the Amausi airport in Lucknow, where he landed this morning before driving to Raebareli, he told reporters that comments made by Union minister Niranjana Jyoti, were "very wrong".
Jyoti yesterday stoked a controversy by allegedly making communal remarks and using an expletive in an election rally here, leaving the BJP and the government embarrassed.
Earlier, Gandhi paid a visit to the house of senior Congressman TN Tripathi and offered his condolences on the death of his son about 10 days ago.
"In this hour of loss me and my family is with you.. the pain of losing a son is much more than losing ones father.. ," the bereaved family quoted Gandhi as saying.
The Congress leader was given warm welcome at several places including Civil Lines where some youth called for bringing Priyanka Gandhi in active politics.
"Only Priyanka can give a befitting reply to Amit Shah," they told Rahul Gandhi. The Congress MP also visited Fursatganj, Akelwa Crossing, Tindwa, Duni Ka Purva, Ghuran D, Jamalpur, Mahamadpur Namaksar, Pure Shiv Prasad, Rahimganj and Kherva crossings, Kukha and Pure Nirhi villages of his Amethi constituency.