Terming Facebook's action as diversionary, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said the whole consultation exercise has been reduced to 'a crudely majoritarian and orchestrated poll'.

"Neither the spirit nor the letter of a consultative process warrants such an interpretation which, if accepted, has dangerous ramifications for policy-making in India," TRAI said in its letter to Facebook on January 18.

According to the regulator, the campaign by Facebook to defend its free Internet platform - Free Basics in India is 'wholly misplaced' as 'the consultation paper is on differential pricing for data services and not on any particular product or service'.

Facebook India yesterday responded to TRAI's allegations, saying it's being singled out.

"We would note that we are not aware of a similar request (from TRAI) having been made to any other commentator who did not answer these specific questions," it said in the reply.

"And we continue to believe that the original comments submitted were responsive to the general questions raised in the consultation paper, which clearly covers such topics as the Free Basics programme," Facebook Public Policy Director for India, South and Central Asia Ankhi Das said.

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