Minutes after the Election Commission announced its unprecedented step of cutting short poll campaigning in the state by 24 hours, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a news briefing and appealed to the voters to vote-out Prime Minister Narendra Modi from power. She also attacked the Election Commission (EC) and the Supreme Court.
Appealing the voters to not vote for Prime Minister Modi, she said in the press conference:
"On 19 wherever there is an election, Bihar UP and Bengal, I will request every person, the way Narendra Modi has insulted me, I counter whatever he says, I can't even counter what he says, I don't have freedom of expression? My voice is not free, why can't I talk? I don't have the right? There is no freedom of the press? Does nobody have the right to speak? This is how the country will work?"
She then added making an appeal to the voters not to vote for the BJP:
"Don't give any vote to him (PM Modi). My sisters, brothers, young people, I request Modi ko Hatao (Remove Modi), Modi ko desh se nikal do election k through (Drag him out of the country through your votes). Don't vote for him. They(BJP) have slandered Bengal by breaking the statue of Vidyasagar and the Election Commission has given Narendra Modi and Amit Shah a prize after vandalising. Don't give one vote to the BJP."
On Wednesday evening, in an unprecedented move, EC invoked Article 324 and cuts short campaigning of all forms in West Bengal from 10 pm on Thursday, May 16, till the end of the polls on May 19. In the normal course, the campaigning was to end at 5 pm on May 17. It also announced that ADG (CID) West Bengal Rajeev Kumar stands relieved of his post and is reassigned to the Home Ministry in New Delhi where he will have to report by 10 am on Thursday. Furthermore, the poll body also said: "Atri Bhattacharya, Principal Secretary (Home) of the West Bengal government stands removed and his duties will be discharged with the state's Chief Secretary for the time being."