A resurgent Congress has put up its best show since 1991 in Madhya Pradesh, winning 12 of 29 seats.
The BJP's tally dropped from 24 to 16, with the party even losing Rewa to Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party - a seat the BSP last won in 1996.
GenNext leader Jyotiraditya Scindia won by a record margin of 2.5 lakh, for the third time in a row.
The results have come as a pleasant surprise for the Congress, given its lackluster campaign and the media forecast that the BJP would have a clean sweep in the state.
In contrast, the BJP is shocked by the results. Its methodical campaign, spirited campaigners and strategising right up to the booth stage have failed.
“The results are disappointing. That’s all I can say for now,” said a downcast Shivraj Singh, chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. The mood at Singh’s house on Saturday was remarkably sombre and in sharp contrast to the wild jubilation five months ago, when the BJP swept the Assembly elections.
They had a well-thought-out strategy: Deflect the blame for the power crisis in Madhya Pradesh with Justice Marches (Nyay Yatras) to highlight how the Centre was not allocating enough coal to the state. The Congress failed miserably in countering the allegations.
However, as the polling dates approached, the discrimination plank lost steam.
Then Sonia Gandhi and son Rahul arrived, touring the state and talking about the misuse of Central funds.
“The election meetings of Soniaji and Rahulji were the most important factor in the Congress’s satisfactory show in this election in MP,” said state party president S Pachouri.