In the end, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and Kerala and even Karnataka made all the difference. When Soniaji and Manmohanji take their seats in the 15th Lok Sabha, a line-up of beaming south Indian faces will be behind them, supportive as ever, dependable as ever. Which will be fine for big things like economic policy, international diplomacy, nuclear cooperation and so on. Whether it will be any good for the southern states they represent is a different matter.
For, things happened in the south this time that had not happened in previous elections. In Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, for example, the use of money exceeded all known limits of the past. Additionally, in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the dynastic approach to political power became blatant.