For reasons best known to it, the Congress decided to toast and celebrate its by-election wins even though it was decimated in the North East. Party leader Jairam Ramesh went on to emphasize how the Congress had wrested the Kasba Peth assembly seat in Pune after 33 years and managed to make a debut in West Bengal assembly by winning Sagardighi seat after 51 years. In the last West Bengal assembly elections, the Congress had drawn a blank. Congress sources, however point out that winning Kasba Peth was more due to inept handling by state BJP; the assembly seat was handed on a platter to the Congress. Pune MP Girish Bapat reportedly wanted the seat for his daughter-in- law but he had failed to get Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis’s backing. When the party leadership refused to oblige him, Bapat sulked and did not push for a BJP win. Even as PM Modi vowed to expose the CPM-Congress alliance in Kerala, Jairam explained how the tie-up proved to be a face-saver – it had helped the party get at least 5 seats, in 2018 it was zero. In Meghalaya, of course after its entire team of 21 MLAs led by Mukul Sangma joined TMC, the party had reasons to be happy that it had won 5 seats. But then the Congress doesn’t realise that exodus to the TMC wouldn’t have happened if it had not handed over the PCC to Lok Sabha MP Vincent Pala– he lost the assembly elections.