Coronavirus lockdown: Priyanka Gandhi wants Reliance, Airtel and other telecom firms to waive off call charges

FE Online

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Sunday wrote to almost all telecom operators and their heads like Reliance Jio chief Mukesh Ambani, Airtel’s Sunil Bharti Mittal and Vodafone Idea boss Kumar Mangalam Birla, urging them to make incoming-outgoing calls free on their networks for at least one month for migrant workers during coronavirus lockdown. She has also written to BSNL chief PK Purwar, making the same request.

The Congress shared the letters on Twitter. In one such letter addressed to Ambani, Gandhi said she was writing to him on humanitarian grounds about the plight of the millions of migrant workers across the country who were trying to find their way home to their families battling hunger, thrust and disease.

She said that it was ‘our national duty to help our countrymen in this hour of crisis’. "There is one way in which your company Jio Telecommunications can make a huge difference at this moment. Many of the people going home have run out of money on their phone recharges. This means they are unable to call their families and their families are unable to receive their calls due to financial and mobility restraints," she wrote.

The Congress leader further said urged Mukesh Ambani to make "incoming and outgoing call facilities on your service in the relevant areas available without charge for the next one month". She wrote similar letters to other service providers such as Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and BSNL. This comes amid reports that thousands of migrant and daily wage workers were trying to rush back to their native places as they had no job in the cities anymore due to complete lockdown.

Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over nationwide lockdown and said that it will have ‘devastating’ impact on people and the economy.