Contesting on its own for the first time since 1989, Congress came a cropper in the local body polls in Tamil Nadu with none of its nominees getting elected as chairman of urban or rural local bodies and a sharp decline in its vote base.
The two phased polls this month saw a three per cent erosion in the party's vote base, dashing its hopes of contesting future polls without alliances.
It finished a poor fifth with its vote bank shrinking to an all time low of five per cent in the civic polls.
The same was the fate with PMK and Dalit outfit Viduthalai Chiruthagal Katchi which had hitherto faced polls in alliance either with DMK or AIADMK. They also saw a substantial erosion of their vote bank with a drop of over two to three per cent.
The ruling AIADMK and opposition DMK more or less maintained their vote share. DMK slightly bettered its share by three per cent compared to the April assembly polls, with its vote share going up from 22.38% to 26%.
AIADMK saw a small drop of one per cent when it got 38% against 39% during the assembly poll.
But AIADMK swept all 10 municipal corporations in the state and Chennai Corporation for the first time since the party's inception in 1972.
Though there was only a 12% difference in vote share between AIADMK and DMK, the ruling party got over 75% of seats in civic bodies by capturing all 10 municipal corporations, 90% of municipalities and all 31 district panchayats.
For DMDK, floated by actor Vijaykant, which claimed to be an alternative of AIADMK and DMK, the vote share remained stagnant at 7.5% in both the polls.
BJP maintained its two per cent vote share in both polls.
The civic poll results, considered an indicator of the nature of alliances to be forged for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, clearly showed that people voted mainly for arch rivals in state politics AIADMK and DMK. Seats won by other parties like DMDK in the assembly polls were mainly due to their alliances with AIADMK.
It was the first time in the recent past that parties went to the polls on their own, shunning alliances.