Kolkata, Dec 2: Coming in support of Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Derek O’Brien said we have full respect for the army, but we are told that the data they are looking for is already available. Thursday midnight, Army conducted a routine exercise in West Bengal in order to collect data from toll plazas.

Questioning the move Derek stated,” are they authorised to collect funds from toll plazas? Eastern command said this is being coordinated, west Bengal police knows that this is untrue.”

“WB CM has been in secretariat overnight. Till midnight I got reports that in over a dozen districts army personnel were being deployed,” added the TMC leader.

Banerjee on Thursday attacked the Centre and refused to leave state secretariat Nabanna protesting presence of Army at toll plazas.TMC chief alleged that the Centre deployed Army in West Bengal without informing the state government.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee termed it as a ‘ military coup’  accused the Narendra Modi government of creating a situation worse than ‘Emergency’.

A defence spokesperson said the Army’s presence was normal. It was there to conduct bi-annual exercise throughout the country. Army thus gathers  statistical data about the load carriers that could be made available to the force in case of a contingency.