(brainstorming session) of Punjab's ruling Shiromani Akali Dal began on Friday at the Peterhoff hotel in Shimla, which witnessed the expulsion of senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh last month.
"The brainstorming session begins this (Friday) morning in which more than 100 party top leaders, including cabinet ministers, legislators and MPs, will discuss various internal issues," Harcharan Bains, media adviser to the chief minister, told IANS.
He said various issues ranging from strengthening the base of the party in Punjab and other states, to its future course of strategy during the forthcoming assembly elections, would be discussed.
"During the next two days, four sessions would be held. The session would begin with the address of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal," he added.
Regarding the lavish spending on the stay of the leaders during the session, Bains said: "It was the wish of the junior Badal (Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal) to give a new look to the party, prepare the party for "generation next". This was the first kind of initiative taken by the party. Our aim is just to dispel the myth that the party is a 'gurdwara' party (orthodox party)."
Most of the SAD leaders are staying at the Oberoi's five-star Cecil hotel, where a room costs between Rs 13, 000 and Rs 30, 000.
"The entire hotel has been booked by the SAD for three days (from September 10 to 13)," an official of the hotel said.
The party is also hosting a lavish lunch for its leaders at Wildflower Hall, one of India's luxury resort hotels near here, September 12.
The venue of the meeting has been converted into a fortress with a large police force being deployed, and no mediaperson being allowed to enter both the Peterhoff and the Cecil hotel.