Major roads in Bangalore's central business district were awash with saffron flags on Friday as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership looked for a plank to take on a nuclear-deal buoyed Congress in the Lok Sabha polls due early next year.
Over the next three days, around 250 BJP seniors led by their president Rajnath Singh and prime ministerial candidate LK Advani will assess the party's poll prospects and decide on a strategy to recapture power at Delhi, lost after the shock defeat in the 2004 parliamentary elections.
Rajnath Singh, Advani and most other leaders arrived in India's IT hub on Thursday for the three-day meet of the party's national executive committee being held in the swank Chancery Pavilion on Residency Road in the city's central business district.
Advani and Rajnath Singh were given a rousing reception by party supporters at the airport on arrival late Thursday evening. A stage was set up at the airport for Advani to address them.
In a brief speech, Advani thanked the people of Karnataka for voting the BJP to power for the first time in the state in the May assembly elections.
Karnataka's first BJP chief minister BS Yeddyurappa led the airport reception for the two leaders.
The party has flown in a large media contingent from Delhi to report the proceedings of the executive but even the inaugural session is not open to the media.
Only photographers and electronic media cameramen will be allowed in for a photo shoot just before Rajnath Singh opens the meet with an address.
There will be briefings for the press at the media centre set up at Hotel Woodlands, less than a kilometre from the meet venue.
Rajnath Singh and Advani had a series of informal discussions with the delegates to the executive Thursday night and Friday morning ahead of the formal meet beginning at noon.
The noon inauguration is apparently on the advice of astrologers whose green signal is a must for the host chief minister Yeddyurappa to start any meeting or launch a programme.
Though Lok Sabha poll strategy is the main thrust of the meet, it will also finalise the plan for assembly elections in several northern states.
The meet will also look for ways to win back party's former allies in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) like AIADMK led by former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha.
The meet will adopt resolutions on the way the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at Delhi has tackled the political, economic and social situation and foreign policy of the country.
Opposition to the India-US nuclear in its present form, rising prices, continuing terror attacks in various parts of the country will be among the issues on which the party plans to fight the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls.
The meet will consider the possibility of Congress advancing the Lok Sabha polls hoping for electoral mileage from the nuclear deal with the US and steps BJP has to take to defeat that party in such an eventuality.
Besides Rajnath Singh, Advani and other senior leaders like Murli Manohar Joshi, M Venkaiah Naidu, party general secretaries, vice presidents, present at the meet will be the party's chief ministers -- Yeddyurappa of Karnataka, Narendra Modi of Gujarat, Vasundhara Raje of Rajasthan, PK Dhumal of Himachal Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh and Raman Singh of Chhattisgarh.
On Saturday, Advani and other leaders will address a Vijay Sankalp Yatra at a popular public rally venue in south Bangalore, a BJP stronghold.