The Congress on Sunday retained the prestigious Nainital Lok Sabha seat in Uttaranchal when its candidate Mahendra Singh Pal trounced the Bharatiya Janata Party's Balraj Passi by a margin of over 100,000 votes.
Uttaranchal Chief Minister N D Tiwari had vacated the seat following his election to the state assembly.
Pal secured 200,181 votes against Passi's 95,995. The Bahujan Samaj Party's Subhas Sarkar came third with 74,846 votes.
The party's chief election campaigner and state Information Minister Indira Hridayesh said, "First, we won the assembly election in February this year. Then N D Tiwari won Ramnagar by-poll with a thumping majority. Now, the Congress has taken a hat-trick by winning Nanital."
Asked to comment on the BJP's defeat, former chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari said the party failed to capitalise on "corruption issues revolving around some ministers".
He also alleged that the Congress misused the official machinery.