The Election Commission on Tuesday barred Bharatiya Janata Party Lok Sabha candidate and former Calcutta High Court judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay from campaigning for the elections for 24 hours in view of his “improper, injudicious and undignified” remarks against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Gangopadhyay is the BJP’s candidate from the Tamluk constituency in West Bengal.

The poll panel said it had received a complaint from the Trinamool Congress on May 16 about the BJP leader’s remarks against Banerjee at a public meeting in the Purba Medinipur district’s Haldia city.

Subsequently, the Election Commission sent Gangopadhyay a show cause notice, alleging that he had violated the Model Code of Conduct.

The code is a set of rules that all political parties, candidates and governments are mandated to follow in the run-up to an election. It sets guardrails for speeches, rallies and other aspects of poll campaigning.

The poll panel said that his comments were found to be “beyond dignity in every sense of term” and “in bad taste”. The BJP leader sent a reply to the notice on Monday.

On Tuesday, the Election Commission said it took note of Gangopadhyay’s reply and concluded that the BJP leader had made a “low-level personal attack” against the chief minister.

The poll panel said it was “duly engaged in strengthening women’s representation and participation in the electoral process”.

The BJP leader’s remarks were a “direct affront on the ‘erosion of the status of women in India’”, the Election Commission said, adding that it had brought “damage and disrepute” to the state.

It then censured Gangopadhyay and banned him from campaigning for the elections from 5 pm on Tuesday for the next 24 hours.

The development comes a few days after the Calcutta High Court stayed a first information report against the BJP leader in a case related to the alleged assault of government teachers who were protesting the cancellation of their recruitment

Gangopadhyay joined the BJP on March 7, two days after he resigned as a judge of the Calcutta High Court.