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Reliance Jio complains to TRAI: Propaganda on farm protest leading to spike in port out requests

In a letter dated Dec. 10, Reliance Jio alleged Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea had created an impression that Reliance stands to gain from three new agricultural laws introduced by the government in September.

By: Reuters | New Delhi | Updated: December 15, 2020 5:48:06 pm
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Reliance Industries Ltd’s telecom division has asked the Indian telecoms regulator to take action against rivals Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea Ltd for allegedly running a false propaganda campaign to attract its subscribers.

In a letter dated December 10, Reliance Jio alleged that the two companies had created an impression that Reliance – which also runs retail operations – stands to gain from three new agricultural laws introduced by the government in September.

“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 to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, which was seen by Reuters.

Farmers have been demonstrating for nearly three weeks against deregulation of the agriculture sector that will allow them to sell produce to buyers beyond government-regulated wholesale markets, where growers are assured a minimum price.

Bharti Airtel said in a statement: “We wish to emphatically deny this baseless charge.” Bharti Airtel also said the company treats its competitors and partners with respect.

Vodafone Idea said it “believes in doing business with ethics and Reliance’s allegations were baseless.”

The telecoms regulator could not be reached outside regular business hours.

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