Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday resigned as the Congress Legislature Party leader, taking moral responsibility for the party's poor show in the assembly bypolls.
The Congress, which held 12 of the 15 seats where byelections were held on December five, won only two, in a huge set-back to the opposition party.
In a letter to Interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Siddaramaiah expressed his sincere regrets for not being able to give "satisfactory results" in the byelections.
"I deem it necessary to step down as Leader of the CLP by taking moral responsibility", he wrote.
"As a CLP leader, there is a need to uphold the democratic principles. In the interest of the party, I have tendered my resignation as the CLP leader", Siddaramaiah told reporters.
The byelection was seen as much a litmus test for Siddaramaiah as it was for Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa.