After months of bad news and setbacks, Maoists in Nepal had a reason to smile last week.
Party vice chairman Baburam Bhattarai returned from a trip to India with the message that the southern neighbour is not averse to a Maoist-led government in the Himalayan nation.
Bhattarai's disclosure came after deliberations with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, external affairs minister SM Krishna, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao and national security advisor Shiv Shankar Menon.
Though mandarins in New Delhi kept mum, Bhattarai made the happy announcement the moment he landed in Kathmandu.
He also disclosed India will keep a hands-off attitude let the deadlock surrounding formation of a government resolve itself through consensus.
For a party that has dubbed India as principal enemy and accused it of preventing it (Maoists) from regaining power, the development is a relief.
Earlier attempts at getting friendly with the enemy, sometimes at China's coaxing, had met with silent snubs. Now armed with the enemy's assurances, it hopes to reverse its fortunes.
But re-entry to the Prime Minister's residence won't be smooth as Nepali Congress and a faction in Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist) are unlikely to agree to a Maoist-led coalition.
Unable to come to power through democratic means, Maoists are now planning to wage another revolt to install a peoples' government if there's a conspiracy against the peace process and constitution drafting.
With less than five months remaining for completion of both tasks, Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal is having difficulty in placating hardcore elements in his outfit and getting another shot at the PM kursi.
Getting a positive nod from New Delhi is only a small step, Dahal knows his journey to Baluwatar is fraught with major roadblocks and he will need to make big sacrifices to reach his destination.