Bharatiya Janata Party National President Amit Shah on Tuesday claimed that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was responsible for the political clashes in the state.

“CPI(M) has been unleashing attacks against Sangh Parivar workers with the blessings of Vijayan,” Shah said, while inaugurating the Jan Raksha Yatra at Payyanur in Kerala’s Kannur district. “Communists should understand that more lotuses will bloom in Kerala when you intensify your attacks.”

The march, led by Kerala BJP President Kummanam Rajashekharan, aims to highlight the attacks on Sangh Parivar workers allegedly by supporters of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

The saffron party had also announced that the march will highlight the “menace of jihadi terror” in Kerala. However, Shah did not mention the subject in his speech. He said the Jana Raksha Yatra was not limited to just Kerala.

“The march has the support of over 11 crore BJP members across the country,” he said. “Chief ministers from BJP-ruled states and Union ministers will also join it in various places.”

The BJP chief announced that workers of his party will march to the CPI(M) office in New Delhi and organise sit-in protests in all state capitals starting Wednesday till October 17. Explaining the decision to start the march from Kannur, he said: “This is the home district of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and CPI(M) State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. We want to highlight the communist violence happening in their home turf.”

Kannur has been the hotbed of political clashes in Kerala. According to the police, there were 69 political murders in the district between 2000 and 2016, with 31 victims from the Sangh and 30 from the Left party.

Shah said human rights activists had failed to take notice of the alleged murders of Sangh Parivar workers in Kerala. “I am wondering why rights activists have been ignoring the communist violence,” he said, advising CPI(M) workers to introspect about continuing in a political party that is fast disappearing from all over the world.

The inaugural ceremony, scheduled to start at 10 am, was delayed by two hours after Shah arrived late. All top BJP leaders from Kerala addressed the gathering. A few National Democratic Alliance leaders, including Adivasi leader CK Janu, were not invited to speak.

Shah offered prayers at the Sree Raja Rajeswara Temple in Taliparamba at 10 am before inaugurating the march.

Earlier, the saffron party’s state president, Kummanam Rajashekharan, said the march heralds a new chapter in politics in Kerala. “We will march through CPI(M) strongholds,” he said. “We have not mortgaged any roads or villages in the state to the communists.”

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath will participate in the march on Wednesday. The Jana Raksha Yatra will go through Kannur for four days and a day each in 10 other districts, before concluding in state Capital Thiruvananthapuram on October 17.

Party leaders will travel in a cavalcade of around 80 vehicles. However, state leaders will march on foot to some strongholds of the CPI(M), including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s village.

Shah will join the BJP leaders on the scheduled marches. He will address the public at various locations in Kannur over the next two days.