Reliance Jio accuses Airtel, Vodafone of using farmers’ protest to port out customers
Both Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea called the Mukesh Ambani-led company’s claims ‘baseless’.
Reliance Industries’ telecom division Jio has asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to take action against rival networks Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea for allegedly trying to turn the customers’ perception against it amid protests by farmers against the government’s agricultural laws, Reuters reported on Monday.
The Mukesh Ambani-led company claimed in its letter to the telecom regulator on December 10 that rival networks created an impression that it stood to gain from the three laws. “We once again bring to your kind attention that as a result of aforementioned false propaganda of competitors to affect customer perception, we have been receiving a large number of port out (cancellation) requests,” Reliance Jio said in the letter.
Jio added that its rivals were promoting rumours for the “unethical pecuniary benefits in the form of induced porting of RJIL (Jio) customers”, according to Mint.
Bharti Airtel and Vodafone both denied Jio’s “baseless” accusations, according to Reuters. “Despite being provoked by some competitors who we know will go to any length to make baseless allegations, adopt bullying tactics and use intimidatory behaviour, we have always conducted our business with character and transparency something that we are deeply proud of and known for,” Airtel said in a letter, according to Mint.
Airtel said that Jio’s complaint deserved to be “thrown out with the contempt that it deserves”. “It is in poor taste and is scurrilous, to say the least,” it added.
The Political Fix: Three ways to understand the massive farmer protests taking on Modi in Delhi
Tens of thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting at key entry points to Delhi for 20 straight days. The farmers fear the agricultural reforms will weaken the minimum support price mechanism under which the government buys agricultural produce, will lead to the deregulation of crop-pricing, deny them fair remuneration for their produce and leave them at the mercy of corporations.
As the farmers went on a hunger strike on Monday, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the government was ready to discuss every clause of the three contentious farm laws with the protesting farmers.
On December 9, they had rejected the Centre’s written proposal on the amendments to the three laws, and threatened to intensify their protests. Tomar, however, said that 10 organisations associated with the All India Kisan Coordination Committee had extended their support to the laws.