He has also demanded a judicial inquiry into the case. (JPN/Agencies)
"Corruption and crony capitalism had been the hallmarks of Congress governance since 2004. Two-time Congress MP from Chandni Chowk Kapil Sibal deprived the country of Rs 650 crore in penalty fees payable by Anil Ambani's Reliance Communication Ltd. in 2011," Vardhan said.
Explaining the episode, Vardhan said that on November 22, 2010, Reliance had deliberately switched off services to 13 circles in the northeastern states. It was liable to pay Rs 50 crore per circle as penalty for violating terms of the Universal Access Service Licenses (UASL) held by it.
"But Sibal overruled the senior officials of his ministry and waived off the penalty with no valid explanation. I demand a judicial inquiry in the case," he said.
Reliance officials tried to justify this, saying it was not finding the circles viable.
Vardhan said it conveniently suppressed the fact that it was receiving subsidy from the government under the Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF) established under the Telecom Policy.
Seeking to hit two birds with the same stone, Vardhan questioned why was AAP's Arvind Kejriwal, who has been attacking Mukesh Ambani recently, silent on the issue.
"Is it because of ignorance or is there some other story? Does this not prove that AAP is the 'B' Team of the Congress?" he said.
Reliance Communications rejects BJP’s charges
Reliance Communications strongly refuted Vardhan's allegations that the company received favours from his rival and Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, saying the charges are baseless and politically motivated.
"Rcom strongly refutes these wild, baseless and politically motivated allegations," the company’s spokesperson said.
He has also demanded a judicial inquiry into the case.