"The Modi government in Gujarat would have performed even better had there been no adverse relationship with the then Central government," Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here.
"We cannot forget the step-motherly treatment which the Congress meted out to non-Congress state governments," the Minister said.
However, the present government at the Centre treats all states in the same manner, she said, responding to a query about Modi's appeal during poll rallies that people should elect BJP government in states as well, to ensure that development is fast tracked.
"The PM said that if there is a different party-led government in states, it should not make any difference, as it is the spirit of Team India," she said.
Countering criticism that the PM has been addressing "too many rallies", she asked, "Are you so scared of Modi's presence, his success and vision that you want to keep him away If Congress and NCP are scared of him, they better be. Why shouldn't he come to Maharashtra"
Asked about post-poll tie-ups, possibly with former ally Shiv Sena, Sitharaman said, "I won't speculate on the post-poll scenario. We are confident of forming the government."
When asked about Shiv Sena and the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena criticising the BJP, she said, "Our critics are aware that people are with us. This is a tactic to confuse voters and an attempt to divert focus from the failure of the 15-year old misrule of Congress and NCP."
"During the last 15 years, there has been a decline in Maharashtra's annual incremental growth. There was a slowdown in industrial and agricultural growth and the state's contribution to the national GDP," the BJP leader said.
The Congress-NCP regime damaged the interests of Maharashtra, Sitharaman said. She cited the Maval firing on farmers, alleged irrigation scam and cheating of war widows, as examples of the misdeeds of the previous regime.
The Modi government in Delhi has taken decisions on fiscal reforms, she said, adding that people have made up their mind to elect BJP to power in Maharashtra as well, she said.