A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a reference to the Kerala Chief Minister's statement on extremists infiltrating anti-CAA protests, Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday hit back saying it was "factually incorrect" and "condemnable".
In a blistering attack on opposition parties on their attempt to "misguide and misinform" the nation on the new citizenship law, Modi had said Vijayan was on one hand warning about extremist elements infiltrating anti-CAA protests and on the other his party was supporting them in Delhi.
Modi had made the statement during his debate on the motion to thank the President for his address to the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament on Monday.
The Kerala Chief Minister took exception to Modi's statement and demanded that the PM 'rectify' his statement.
"The statement of the PM in Rajya Sabha with regard to Kerala was factually incorrect and condemnable," Vijayan wrote in his Facebook post.
The CPI(M) veteran said Kerala was "not ready to give up the collective movement against the Citizenship Amendment Act" to those who have "sectarian and communal" agenda.
"We have warned and taken guard against those who try to infiltrate the people's movement. The CAA, which is being implemented by the RSS with a communal objective, has to be dealt with power of secularism."
"It is in this regard, the state has become a model to the country. The secular Kerala has the strength to stop the communal elements who are trying to infiltrate the people's movement," Pinarayi Vijayan said.
It was with 'conviction' that he had mentioned in the state Assembly about the infiltration of extremist organisations like Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI) in protests against the amended citizenship law.
"My mentioning of the involvement of extremist organisations like SDPI during some anti-CAA protests was with full conviction."
"The state has faith in its secular fabric to deal with the communal agenda of the Sangh Parivar. We will fight those who attempt to communalise our protests. The Prime Minister must rectify his statement defaming the protest movement of Kerala," the Chief Minister demanded.
It does not suit a democratic culture "to have a Prime Minister among those who show intolerance just because Kerala is in the forefront fighting the communal objectives of the RSS and the SDPI," he added.
Pinarayi Vijayan had on February 3 cautioned against infiltration of members of "extremist" outfits like SDPI in anti-CAA protests in the state and said the Left government would not allow any attempt to create communal disharmony in the society.
His mention of the Islamic outfit in the House had then triggered a war of words with the Congress-led opposition United Democratic Front.
Coming down heavily on SDPI, the chief minister had said such "extremist" groups were trying to divide people and create law and order issues in some places under the garb of the protests.