Yogendra Yadav in the Hindu:
Pre-election polls, including the one conducted by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in January, showed that issues like the Indo-U.S. deal, Hindutva and reservations did not excite the people. These surveys showed that unemployment and price rise were overriding concerns with people cutting across classes.
The other possible election issue was national security. This has a wider appeal than the Congress was willing to initially grant.
..There is no nationwide overarching theme in this election. That does not mean there are no issues. As the principal arena of political contestation has shifted to the State level, so have the major issues. The unfolding human tragedy in Sri Lanka is the latest example of one that could have serious implications for this election, but only at the State level. The same could be said of a number of issues that have come up in various States.