As voting ends in five states, and ahead of the election results later this week, the Congress has launched unprecedented moves to prevent defections that have hurt the party in the past.
Top Congress leaders have been despatched to at least four of the five states that voted over the past month - Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur.
These leaders will be in place to take swift decisions, sources said today, including on alliances and tie-ups in the event of hung assemblies.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has held strategy meetings to discuss these pre-emptive moves, which are unusual for the opposition party.
The Congress wants to avert a repeat of the 2017 fiasco in Goa, when the party failed to take power despite emerging single largest in the election.
The Congress won 17 of 40 seats in Goa in the 2017 election but the BJP, after winning 13 seats, took power with help from smaller parties and independents. Two years later, 15 Congress MLAs switched to the BJP, led by the Congress's leader of opposition, Babu Kavlekar, who was made Deputy Chief Minister by the BJP.
Weeks ago, the Congress had even made its Goa candidates take an oath of allegiance in Rahul Gandhi's presence. The party, however, realises that this symbolic gesture may not be enough to hold back its MLAs when the race for power begins.
Besides Goa, the Congress has also activated "mission MLA" in Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur. The Congress hopes to win in at least two of these states, though a hung verdict is seen to be a very real possibility in all four.
Sources say the party is also planning to sequester MLAs in Rajasthan; the Congress-ruled state is familiar with "resort politics" that has become a staple of recent state elections or regime changes.