Prime Minister Narendra Modi's campaign slogan of Congress-mukt Bharat, a Congress-free India, is now even closer to being a reality. Likely defeats in Assam and Kerala and a failure to win with allies in West Bengal or Tamil Nadu mean India's Grand Old Party is staring at national irrelevance. The little union territory of Puducherry may be the only bright spot in a dismal day for Sonia Gandhi's party.
At 11.15 am, the numbers were dire.
The party has been voted out of power in Kerala, where it is currently only leading in 24 of the 87 seats that it was contesting. Its alliance, the United Democratic Front, is likely to grab just 50 of the state's 140 seats, giving way to the Left Democratic Front, which has pulled in around 90. Final results are still to be declared, but it is unlikely the swing will be more than a few seats.
In Assam, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi will be giving way after 15 years in power, with his loss being even more ignominious because it heralds the first time the Congress' arch-rival will ever hold power in the North East. The Congress has been reduced to 32 from the 79 it won in the previous election.
Meanwhile, its alliance with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu, which exit polls had surprisingly suggested would win, has turned out to not be very successful. J Jayalalithaa's All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is likely to be the first party in five decades to return to power in the state, and the Congress' seat count may remain in the single digits.
West Bengal may actually give the party some hope, but only by way of being a bittersweet pill. The Congress agreed to a historic alliance with the Left – whom the party was battling in Kerala – and it may end up actually doing better than its alliance partners. Leads suggest the Congress may get 34 seats, more than the 30 the Left is leading in. Both numbers pale in comparison to the Trinamool Congress' 218 seats.
After its massive rout in the general elections in 2014, when it came down to a historic low of 44 seats in the Lok Sabha, the Congress then proceeded to lose several other states that year. Last year allowed the party to perk up a bit, when it won in Bihar as a junior partner, but 2016's results serve as a reminder that any anti-Narendra Modi gains aren't necessarily going to be Congress victories.