Congress on Sunday won two assembly by-elections in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana appearing not to have been hit by the spate of scams rocking the United Progressive Alliance coalition at the Centre while the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party suffered a humiliating defeat in Karnataka.
Congress, in fact, got a majority on its own in the Haryana assembly when it broke a 30-year-old jinx and wrested the Ratia seat from the Indian National Lok Dal.
With Sunday's win, the party now has 46 seats in the 90-member assembly.
The BJP and Congress wrested a seat from each other in Himachal Pradesh. BJP wrested the Renuka (reserve) assembly seat from Congress, which struck a blow to the saffron party in its stronghold of Nalagarh.
In Renuka, Hridaya Ram of BJP defeated Vinay Kumar of Congress by 3,526 votes. In Nalagarh, Lakhvinder Singh Rana of Congress defeated BJP's Gurnam Kaur by 1598 votes.
However, in Karnataka the ruling BJP suffered a crushing defeat in Bellary, the stronghold of Reddy brothers, where Independent candidate and former minister Sreeramulu won by a massive margin.
Sreeramulu, a close associate of jailed mining baron and former ministers G Janardhana Reddy and Karunakara Reddy, secured 74,527 votes and retained the seat. BJP finished a poor third with its candidate P Gadilingappa losing the deposit managing only 17,366 votes behind Congress' B Ramprasad who garnered 27,737 votes in the triangular fight.
Sreeramulu, health minister in the Yeddyurappa government and a protege of Reddy brothers, had quit BJP and contested as an independent.
In Orissa, ruling BJD's Subhas Gond won the by-election to the Umerkote assembly constituency defeating his nearest BJP candidate by 21,061 votes.
Congress candidate Jatindra Gond was pushed to the third position in the triangular contest as he polled 32,877 votes in the tribal-dominated constituency having about 1.65 lakh voters, said Das, who was the district election officer.
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha candidate Jaiprakash Bhai Patel won the Mandu assembly bypoll defeating his nearest Congress rival Kumar Mahesh Singh by 23,768 votes.
While Patel polled 52,404 votes, Singh secured 28,636 at the end of 13th and final round. Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantric) candidate Manish Jaiswal finished third with 23,433 votes.