The Congress was subdued in its celebration in Imphal after the landslide victory in Manipur on Tuesday.
More than a pre-poll militant threat, it was perhaps the confidence of the party to be in a position to 'form a government on our own' that did the trick. But 'gulaal' was being splashed around as the victory came ahead of Yaoshang, Manipur's week-long festival of colours akin to Holi.
Leaders of the opposition parties - the regional Manipur People's Party and the NCP in particular - preferred to remain 'switched off'. Their offices too wore a desolate look. However, CPI leader M Nara attributed his party's loss to "India's reluctance to adopt the proportionate electoral system because of money power".
"We have announced our arrival on Manipur's political horizon and we hope to play the role of a constructive opposition," Trinamool state unit president Kim Gangte told HT.
Senior Congress leader Y Erabot Singh, who retained his Wangkhei seat, said, "We don't want to go overboard in celebration because hard work starts now."