The ruling Congress party in Andhra Pradesh on Friday suffered a major setback with its state unit chief D. Srinivas losing the assembly by-election.
In a repeat of the 2009 result, Srinivas was defeated by BJP's A. Lakshminarayana by a margin of 12,200 votes in Nizamabad Urban constituency.
The result has come as a big jolt to Srinivas, who was planning to join the state cabinet and was even emerging as a possible successor to Chief Minister K. Rosaiah.
The state Congress president lost in the 2009 elections by 11,015 votes.
Lakshminarayana had quit along with 10 legislators of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti and one of Telugu Desam Party early this year to press the demand for separate statehood to Telangana.