Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally in Panaji, Goa, on Saturday ahead of the state’s Assembly elections. Modi promised to make Goa the most comfortable state if the Bharatiya Janata Party was elected with a comfortable margin. The party currently rules the state, under Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.

Modi said that his decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes did not affect Goa’s tourism. He added that the state government and Centre had been working together for Goa’s economic development, and that an ease in visa rules had boosted the state’s tourism sector. Goa had benefited most from the new visa on arrival, e-visa and other facilities, he said.

Modi also said that the Opposition was wary about the central government’s Budget, which will be out on February 1. He said, “Some parties are preparing their drafts ahead of the Budget, in order to attack us the moment we release.” The prime minister added that there were allegations his office had influenced the Election Commission for simultaneous General and Assembly polls in the states of Punjab and Goa. “If you don’t trust the umpire, then why enter the battlefield?”

“We can have differences of opinion but that does not mean we need to deviate from the core issue of India’s development,” he added. “This is the government of the poor and we are taking one after the other tough and concrete steps to eradicate poverty,” he said.

Polling for Goa’s 40 Assembly seats will be held on February 4, and votes will be counted on March 11.