Kanpur, Oct 19 (IANS) BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Saturday accused the central government of trying to protect the guilty in the controversial allocation of coal blocks.
Addressing a public rally here, Modi said a retired senior bureaucrat -- he did not name former coal secretary P.C. Parakh -- had accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of involvement in the controversy.
"Has this ever happened in the history of Indian politics? Can the Congress escape culpability in the scam?" he asked at the rally at Buddha Park.
The Gujarat chief minister also took a jibe at three-time Kanpur Congress MP and coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, saying the "air pollution in Kanpur was due to the smoke from the coal scandal".
As the comment on Jaiswal was greeted by applause, the veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader said the time had come to send the corrupt packing.
This was Modi's first rally in Uttar Pradesh since he was named the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP.