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Propaganda by Airtel, Vodafone Idea on farm laws leading to port-out requests: Jio

Both Airtel and Vodafone Idea denied the charge

Reliance Jio rep Representational image

The ongoing farmers' protests are having a fallout in the corporate sector. Reliance Jio, the country's largest mobile services provider, has sought action from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India against its main rivals, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.

"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," Reuters reported.

Last week, leaders of the farmers’ protests had called on their supporters to boycott Reliance outlets and port out their Jio SIM cards, alleging that the corporation would benefit from the farm laws.

The letter from Reliance Jio to TRAI claimed, “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,” Reuters reported.

"These companies continue to remain directly indirectly involved in supporting and furthering the ensued notions, and false frivolous rumours of Reliance being an undue beneficiary of the farm bills for unethical pecuniary benefits in the form of induced porting of RJIL customers," Economic Times quoted the Reliance Jio letter as saying.

Economic Times reported, "Retailers in Faridabad, Bahadurgarh, Chandigarh, Firozpur and other parts of NCR and Punjab have seen an increase in customers porting out of Reliance Jio and joining either Vodafone Idea or Bharti Airtel."

Both Airtel and Vodafone Idea denied the charge.

Bharti Airtel said in a statement, “We wish to emphatically deny this baseless charge." Vodafone Idea said it "believes in doing business with ethics and Reliance’s allegations were baseless”.

Interestingly, Reliance Jio had complained to TRAI against Airtel and Vodafone Idea on the same issue on September 28, a day after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the three farm laws.

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