Delhi Metro Rail Corporation chief E Sreedharan on Wednesday urged people to choose the "right political leaders" and not vote a criminal to power.
In an appeal to the public in an open letter, Sreedharan said that constant news of corruption, lawlessness, poverty and inadequate civic amenities had driven Indians to a state of helpnessness and cynicism that nothing could be done to improve the situation.
He said that the solution was in the hands of the people of India and urged every voter to exercise his or her franchise after striving to ascertain the credentials of the candidates.
"We may not have a satisfactory choice, but we shall do our best to ensure we don't allow a candidate with criminal background to rule our nation," said Sreedharan, who is also president of Foundation for Restoration of National Values (FRNV), a civil society organisation.
He added that even after 61 years of Independence, democratic rights had not been understood and displayed satisfactorily and that "the time had come when this gap had to be filled".