The leader of the official wing of the Congress Party resigned yesterday following the crushing election defeat inflicted on his faction by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
As more results from India's Sunday state elections poured in last night, it became clear that Gandhi - just one year after she was voted out of the prime minister's position - was making an astonishing political comeback.
Candidates of Gandhi's splinter faction of the Congress Party were winning a clear of victory in the sourthern state of Andhra Pradesh.
Earlier results showed Gandhi's faction a decisive winner in Karnataka state, with an absolute majority of 127 seats in the 224-member assembly with 35 results to be declared. The official wing of the Congress Party won only two seats in Karnataka and the Janata Party, the ruling national party won 47.
In Maharashtra, the crucial central state where Gandhi had been given little chance of winning a seat, her candidates were doing well, although an overall victory by the Janata Party was expected.
The first of the likely repercussions from Gandhi's comeback is expected to be the disintegration of the official wing of the Congress Party, from which Gandhi split two months ago.
The faction's leader, Brahmananda Reddy, resigned yesterday in humiliation and the faction's leader in Karnataka also quit.
Gandhi, accompanied by hundreds of happy supporters, appeared at a courthouse yesterday to post bail on contempt charges growing out of the investigation of her emergency rule.
She announced a week's postponement of a meeting of her party's leaders. The delay was expected to allow time for members of the official wing to join her reble faction and to give her the opportunity to consolidate the power base she has won.
Gandhi now is expected to seek a by-election for a parliamentary seat so that she can resume her position in the Indian Parliament and take up the post of leader of the opposition. From that position, she is expected to marshal her forces for the next Indian general election.