Mobile phone covers showing various political parties symbol are displayed at a wholesale shop in Mumbai, India. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: A number of UAE residents told Gulf News they are travelling to India to vote in national elections which start on Thursday. The expatriates had registered in their respective hometowns and obtained election ID cards.

I feel each and every vote is precious and goes a long way in showing the political will of the people. I take my right to cast my vote very seriously. The polling dates in our constituency is April 6 and I will be flying out for four days.

- Sanat Hal, 50 working and living in Dubai for 10 years, from Uluberia, West Bengal

As a responsible citizen of my country, I am travelling on April 9 on the eve of polls in our region, which falls on April 11. I want to see India in the list of developed nations and what my country to be free of corruption and nepotism. I think even my single vote can help make that difference. My wife and I are going to cast our vote on April 11 and make sure we have the representative we want to choose as our voice in the Parliament.

- Satyajit Patra, 38, working and living in Dubai for ten years, from Balasore, Orissa

I believe very strongly in democracy and love participating in the election process. I have done this every five years and feel it is important. Earlier, I wrote to the election commission, requesting them to allow NRIs to be able to cast their vote from the country they are in and hope this becomes a reality soon. For now, I will be flying out to Ahmedabad a couple of days before April 23, the date for the polls in our constituency.

- Mahendra Dhandhukia, 41, Diamond Merchant in Dubai for the last 20 years, from Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Both Sudhir and I will be in Solan a fortnight before the polling there on May 19. We took the trouble of registering ourselves as voters in our constituency years ago and have our official voter IDs. Both of us believe that it is the minimum responsibility of all Indians to exercise their right to franchise and cast their votes. That is the least we can do for our country.

- Meenakshi, in Dubai for last 30 years, from Solan, Himachal Pradesh.

We have witnessed steady degradation of ethical standards in Indian politics for decades and most of us complain about the criminalisation of politics. Our vote is the biggest weapon we have that gives us a change to build a better future for our country for generations to come. I strongly advise all NRIs to return to cast their vote in favour of the party and candidate of choice to usher in the positive change.

- Sudhir Bhasin, in Dubai for last 30 years, from Solan, Himachal Pradesh.

General elections in India is the largest festival of democracy in the world and going by the constitution of our country it’s the responsibility of every citizen to caste vote to select the right candidate to represent himself. The election in my state is on April 11, and I will fly for three days to be able to exercise my right. This is the first time I am casting my vote and I have been urging my friends to exercise their right through. I realise not everyone is fortunate enough to flyout to cast their vote and that is why I hope by the next election in 2024 the government of India will create overseas polling booths to facilitate a smooth adult franchise system for all NRIs around the world.

- Chandra Prakash Gairola, 39 years, working in General Insurance for the last 15 years, from Hardiwar, Uttarakhand

NRIs play a very important role in the economy and that is why I am flying out to Pune, a couple of days before April 23, to be able to cast my vote. I do hope the government is soon able to take concrete steps to facilitate electronic overseas voting system to allow NRIs around the world to exercise their right to vote.

- Rajesh Rao, 50, working in Dubai for the last 20 years, from Pune, Maharastra