The Election Commission on Wednesday directed Karnataka’s chief electoral officer to take action against Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shobha Karandlaje for violating the model code of conduct during a protest in Bengaluru.

The direction came after Tamil Nadu’s ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam filed a complaint against Karandlaje’s statement on Tuesday linking the state to the blast that took place in Bengaluru’s Rameshwaram Café on March 1.

The poll panel asked the chief electoral officer of Karnataka to ensure that action is taken immediately and a compliance report is filed within 48 hours.

Karandlaje, a Union minister, made the remarks during a protest demanding the resignation of Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara citing the recent attack on a shop owner for playing the Hanuman Chalisa, a Hindu hymn, during azaan, the Muslim call to prayer.

“People from Tamil Nadu come here [Bengaluru], get trained there and plant bombs here,” the BJP leader had said on Tuesday. “They placed a bomb in the café.”

She also said that persons from Delhi shout “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans and those who come from Kerala “are involved in acid attacks”, The Indian Express reported.

The BJP leader’s remarks sparked an uproar, forcing her to issue an apology. She said that she had retracted her statement and was seeking forgiveness from the people of Tamil Nadu.

On Wednesday, RS Bharathi, the organisation secretary of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, filed a complaint with the Election Commission against Karandlaje’s statement linking Tamil Nadu to the blast.

The party said that Karandlaje’s remarks had violated the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and the model code of conduct. The code is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission that political parties have to follow while campaigning.

Even though the investigation into the Bengaluru blast is ongoing, Karandlaje had made the “baseless accusation that the bomb was planted by people from Tamil Nadu”, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam said in its complaint.

On Tuesday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin said that Karandlaje’s statement was reckless. He had urged the Election Commission to take note of the “hate speech” and take action.

Stalin also called for legal action against Karandlaje “for causing threat to peace, harmony and national unity”. The Union minister “lacked the authority to make such assertions”, the chief minister added.

Meanwhile, the police in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai booked Karandlaje for allegedly “promoting enmity” between different groups by making remarks against the people of Tamil Nadu, The Indian Express reported.