Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Yogi Adityanath today played the development card as he addressed an election meeting at the Montiviet Ground in Kurseong in Darjeeling.

Mr Adityanath was campaigning for the BJP’s Assembly election candidate for Kurseong constituency, BP Bajgain.

According to him, Darjeeling Hills, along with the state, will see development if the BJP forms the government in West Bengal.

He also said that the long pending problems of Darjeeling Hills would be resolved once the BJP comes to power here.

Highlighting the various development work undertaken after the formation of the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh and at the Centre, Mr Adityanath said: “The Darjeeling hill region is surrounded by nature and its surrounding areas have a lot of tourism potential. As such, youths here do not need to go out in search of employment.”

“If the BJP government comes to power in Bengal, various opportunities will come up here itself, and instead of Europe and Switzerland, people will visit the Darjeeling hills,” he added.

He also criticised the Congress party, the Left Front and the TMC state government.

According to Darjeeling MP Raju Bista, heavyweight BJP leaders, including Home Minister Amit Shah, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and BJP president JP Nadda, are scheduled to visit North Bengal, including Darjeeling Hills and its surrounding areas, within this week.

Asked about the visit of Mr Adityanath and other senior BJP leaders to the Hills, Hill TMC President LB Rai said it does not matter who visits the Hills. “Top BJP leaders are visiting the Hills by keeping in mind the importance of the three Hill seats, but they should understand that even if the PM comes, the TMC and candidates supported by our party will win this election,” he said.

The general secretary of the Bimal Gurung-led faction of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha, Roshan Giri, said nothing new will come out of the top BJP leaders’ visit. “They will come again and again and give false assurances to the Hill people,” he said.

The general secretary of the Binoy Tamang faction of the Morcha, Anit Thapa, on the other hand, said local drivers had to face harassment due to Yogi Adityanath’s visit today as traffic had gone haywire.