Considered electoral icons, chief ministers Sheila Dikshit and Nitish Kumar got a rude shock in Delhi and Bihar respectively on Thursday.
In Delhi, Dikshit drew a blank, barely 10 months after she led the Congress to its third successive victory.
The Congress lost two assembly seats it had held earlier. The Dwarka seat was won by Parduymn Rajput (BJP) and the Okhla seat by Asif Mohammad Khan (RJD).
In Bihar, the Kumar-led JD(U)-BJP combine won just six of the 18 seats for which by-elections took place.
Not only did the JD(U)-BJP do badly, there were signs of the re-emergence of Lalu Prasad’s RJD and Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP which won eight seats between them.