The Election Commission on Thursday issued a strict warning to Congress Lok Sabha candidate and former Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi for calling the recent militant attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district a “stunt” to help the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Hindustan Times reported.

The Congress has fielded Channi from the Jalandhar Lok Sabha constituency, where polling is scheduled to take place in the seventh phase on June 1.

A spokesperson for Punjab’s chief electoral officer on Thursday said that Channi had been asked to provide an explanation for his remarks on the attack to the district election officer of Jalandhar.

“The [Election] commission found Channi’s response unsatisfactory, deeming it a violation of the Model Code of Conduct,” the newspaper quoted the spokesperson as saying.

The code is a set of rules issued by the poll panel that all political parties, candidates and governments are mandated to follow during an election campaign.

The poll panel on Thursday warned Channi against repeating such violations.

On May 4, one Indian Air Force staffer was killed and four others were injured in Poonch after militants fired at their vehicles.

A day later, while responding to a reporter’s question about the attack, Channi alleged that the BJP knew “how to play with people’s lives and bodies”. He claimed that “such stunts were performed” whenever elections were near to make the Hindutva party win.

In response, the BJP lodged a complaint with the Election Commission on May 7 and demanded that a case be registered against Channi, the Hindustan Times reported.

On May 13, Punjab Chief Electoral Officer Sibin C said that Channi’s remarks on the attack were a violation of the Model Code of Conduct and had written to the Election Commission for further action.