The resignation of Kamal Nath as the Madhya Pradesh chief minister saw a further reduction in the Congress's footprint in the country as it lost yet another state to the BJP.
With the fall of its government in Madhya Pradesh, the grand old party now rules only in five states -- Punjab, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, besides Jharkhand and Maharashtra, where it is in power with the help of its allies and is a fringe player -- and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
The exit of its 15-month government in Madhya Pradesh came a year after the Congress lost its government in Karnataka, where it had decided to play a second fiddle to the Janata Dal (Secular), despite having more numbers.
Nath tendered his resignation on Friday and sent the same to Governor Lalji Tandon, ahead of the crucial floor test ordered by the Supreme Court.
In his letter of resignation, Nath said in his 40-year-long public life, "I have always done politics of purity and valued democratic norms and given priority to it. But what transpired in the last two weeks is a new chapter of devaluation of democratic values."
The fall of another Congress government comes in the wake of calls given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership for a "Congress-mukt Bharat" (Congress-free India). The saffron party has often taunted the grand old party over its reducing footprint in the country.
The rising problems for the Congress come in the wake of a leadership crisis plaguing the party and the ongoing battle between the old and the young guard, where young leaders are feeling uneasy and deciding to join the opposite camp.
The ouster of the Kamal Nath government came with the switching of sides by Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was at loggerheads with Nath and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh ever since the Congress formed its government in the state with a wafer-thin majority.
The Congress is facing an increased factionalism in many state units, including in Rajasthan, where Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot is locked in a tussle with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Similar problems are being witnessed in Punjab, where Navjot Singh Sindhu is at loggerheads with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Problems are also brewing in the Chhattisgarh Congress, where senior party leaders TS Singh Deo and Tamradhwaj Sahu are vying for the top post with Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.
The Congress did not fare well in many state elections in the recent past in the wake of the rising factionalism in its state units, including in Delhi.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)