Belying the opinion polls, exit polls and the fear that it was going to be a hung parliament in India and the uncertainties resulting from such a verdict, the congress-led front returned to power with a comfortable majority. The BJP-led NDA did somewhat better but the III front led by the leftist were almost wiped out. About the IV front, the less said, the better. The poll pundits gave several reasons for the debacle of these fronts but in my view one major reason for the set-back was their adament stand against the Indo-US nuclear deal which might have scared away the educated youngsters.
But it was not a cakewalk for the Congress before and after the elections. Normally, it is the prerogative of the Prime minister to choose his ministers but Manmohanji was under tremendous pressure from the partners to accomodate their MPs in the cabinet irrespective of their qualification or experience. And, some of them seem to be over enthusisatic and are in a hurry to prove their mettle. Some have already indicated their partiality to the state they belong to.