Page last updated at 01:08 GMT, Thursday, 7 May 2009 02:08 UK

Your hopes for the Indian elections

Women from the Dangs district in western India stand outside a polling centre
India's capital, Delhi, will be one of the key battlegrounds as the country enters the latest phase of its general election. What are the issues that matter to you and your community?

Millions of voters in 85 constituencies across seven states and in the centrally-administered territory of Delhi go to the polls on Thursday.

The main fight is between the ruling Congress coalition and BJP-led parties. Neither is expected to win by a clear margin. Other parties could play a key role when votes are counted on 16 May.

Election officials in India's capital Delhi are urging people to cast ballots after low turnout in previous rounds of voting.

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments. A selection of your comments can be read below.

We are having serious technical problems with the usual Have Your Say service which our engineers are working to fix. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Your comments:

In this country the educated don't vote because they think it will make no difference and the poor don't seem to realize the reason of voting. Politicians try to influence these village people by giving hate speeches about there opposite candidate or they will try to raise religious issues; if that does not work, maybe they use violence or money which might work for them. Nobody in this country talk about development , few politicians will address the issues of the people and if they win they won't go to the people for the next five years until the next election.

Corruption runs so deep in government and different offices of this country that every Indian has now started to live by the rule set by corrupt people to pay and get your work done, even the private sector is infected by this cancer.
Sandeep, Mumbai

India needs to escape the clutches of congress's hopeless dynasty rule. BJP is far less evil when compared to congress and it has proved its mettle in many Indian states like Gujarat and Karnataka. I really hope India sees BJP get a clear majority.
Veera, Santa Clara, USA

Incredible India! I am not Indian but feel proud about Hindustan and Indian election. It's not just election but festival.
Parbat, Vancouver, Canada

All the political parties are blatantly leading the country towards a destructive form of capitalism promoted by IMF and the World Bank. It's increasing the gap between the rich and the poor. The only form of non-violent protest which the marginalised people can adopt is abstinence from voting.
Ravi, Malerkotla

The big and intellectual chunk of Indian citizens, which is residing abroad does not have voting rights - postal ballots are not allowed for them (only for government employees and military forces). They should have a say in their own democracy!
Piyush, London, UK

India has never had a clean and violence free election. In many areas the election looks like a selection with force, intimidation and outright bribery. Criminals are still able to stand for election, get elected and continue their tirades on the common. The poor have given up hopes of a brighter day; the middle class is fed-up with corruption and incompetence and the rich do not want to pay their fair share of taxes, they rather hide their incomes in the Western banks while bribing the political structures of the government. What India needs to do is tackle corruption; f this is contained then everything else will progress.
Chandru Narayan, USA

Whomsoever comes to power, my only hope is they need to put the country first and self interests later. They have made joke out of democracy.

As a responsible citizen of India, everyone should vote. I think the fourth phase of polling could be very crucial.
Abhishek Tyagi, New Delhi, India

All parties have blemishes. Congress the least. PM-designate Dr.Manmohan Singh is erudite yet humble and sincere. Congress is secular in its outlook while BJP is tied to the saffron brigades. Food, water, clothing and shelter still dominate the mandate. In spite of global recession, India under Congress is confident of registering a modest 6% growth. However, no party will be a clear-cut winner this time. Alliances are harmful as they lead to compromises yet are necessary. I repose my faith in Congress
Aziz Merchant, Fremont, USA

It is imperative that India elects BJP if wants to look forward to progress and self confidence. The Congress has become a party of apologists and pressure groups and devoid of any vision under the current leadership.
Lotus one, India

Congratulate Indian democracy and election machinery when the poll is on the final stage. The greatest democratic operation in the world is model to every country. I hope that BJP alliance will be winners, without majority. The small parties will decide the government formation.
Sivaraj, Chennai

Indian democracy is nothing but a miracle. It is a shinning example that how 1.1 billion people with different ethnicity, religion, caste and language can vote together is a victory of democracy and its institutions. India is also one of the fastest growing economic power in the world and I think congress has done a great job and deserves to come to power, as it is only party which can take all sections of society towards development.
Mehboob, London

I sincerely hope Congress is re-elected. BJP's agenda is that of a jingoist and hatred towards other growing economies. The only way to progress for India is to grow together with other economies. L K Advani knows nothing but ego and hatred. Their meetings have only agenda that is how to put down the opposition and not how to make India a better place.
Chandan, PA, US

Voting is pointless! The major parties have all been around the block numerous times and yet the core problems of poverty and corruption remain rampant - just the way they like it. With jailbirds in every nook and cranny of governance, what chance does the lone well-intentioned politician have? No, votes will do NOTHING. Something along the lines of revolution needs to happen with younger, patriotic, new faces at the helm who actually care about the country. I seriously worry for the future of Mother India.
CiPheR, Chennai, India

I am a British born Indian and all I can say is that only the BJP can provide India with the growth it has been given over the last 10 years, the BJP built the foundation on which India has grown on and the Congress just seem to reap the benefits of it. May god bless India with the BJP in power
Suraj Vara, Croydon, U.K

I am away at Bahrain; so I can't vote. Anything over 10% will be a bigger sample space than any of the opinion polls. If opinion polls can be considered as nearly scientific, I reckon even a higher voting percentage will mean the same result. The main issue should be focus on development. I think BJP has a better track record than Congress. Anyway, as long as the Left is kept away from its machinations, both these parties would do some good to the nation. Congress will fare slightly less than BJP, as many of its decision makers have rigid ideological hiccups.
Seshadri, Bahrain

I feel that both the parties (BJP and Congress) have some leaders who can serve the nation very well BUT they also have highly corrupt leaders too. At this point its very hard for the Indian citizens to decide and vote for a party.
Parth Mehta, Cardiff, Wales

I will vote if I get option of negative voting. Why isn't there an option which says "None of the candidates deserve my vote"? If this option gets highest number of votes, all candidates standing for election from that constituency should be disqualified to stand for selection for next 10 years. Re-election should be held at that constituency
Sujit, Mumbai

Congress is the best of the lot and Manmohan Singh the only gentleman in sight! May Congress return to power with the venerable doctor as the Great Helmsman.
Kim Morarji, Mumbai/India

Are votes really going to change the way of life for all Indians? The matters that need to be addressed never seem to be mentioned during the election as politicians fear losing their seat. Farmers in the Punjab are committing suicide as they cannot pay back debts to loan-sharks. Such loans are taken out to hire machinery to gather crops and harvest fields which the government won't help subsidise or even offer a better loan. This land provides India with most of its agriculture. What have politicians done during this election to address this matter and help support farmers who provide for the country?? Answer is nothing. It hasn't been mentioned.
Hardip Singh, Tamworth, Staffordshire

I really hope for a Congress victory. Under Manmohan Singh, development has increased; India is stronger and more united. The BJP will ensure a more divided country and the Third Front, a weak government.
Samir, Bristol, England

As a British born Hindu who has been following Indian politics for a few years, I feel the only option for the country is for the BJP to be elected, any other party would not do the best for India and its people. Bhavesh Dave, Harrow, Middlesex

I am not an Indian citizen but I just wanted to say what a shining light of democracy India is. The scale of it and the diversity of religion, ethnic groups fantastic. Well done India
Max, Ashford, Kent

I am a retired Railway Employee. I dreamt of a secular stable and corruption-free government in India since 1960 of my college period and now I come to the conclusion with broken heart it is next to impossible in India
Harihar Dutta Gupta, Kolkata, India

My observation on the 30th, when voters cast their ballots in my state of Madhya Pradesh, was a highly level of complacency amongst middle-class city dwellers in Gwalior where I am a resident. In general, their reasons for not voting was the high level of corruption amongst politicians, and a belief that politicians are 'all the same, and nothing will change'. This contrasts starkly to the fever with which village residents, in my experience, were involved in the pre ballot campaign work, discussions and ballot day voting. Perhaps they have more things to hope for?
Mandie Jones, Gwalior, Madyha Pradesh, India

Basically I am a supporter of the left allies but to tackle BJP and its allies in national level, only UPA would be the best option. I prefer to have a stable and strong government in the centre than having a government which always gets under the pressure while taking major decisions. So I preferred to vote for the UPA allies.
Jacob George, Chengannur, India

As a student of International Relations I've been following the Indian elections closely. The result of this election will be a major factor in deciding the future of India in what is an absolutely crucial stage in its history. India is currently in a position where it must decide whether to push ahead with further integration in the international system, or whether to return to the more protectionist thinking of its post-independence years. The result will be very interesting!
Tom Matthews, Egham, UK

I truly hope that Congress is re-elected. The BJP is not an option for India. They will take the country back a few decades.
Tahan, Vancouver

I don't believe the candidates have paid the tax they should have, considering how wealthy they are. Hence, I am voting with dissatisfaction.
Senthil, Gurgaon

People in our area don't want to vote this time. They don't believe in either candidate. So, what should we vote for?
Kavita Malhotra, Delhi

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