The nearly 20-day-long hectic election campaigning was exhausting even for a trekker in the fray, leave alone the candidates who less frequently cover any distance by walk. Most candidates called it tiresome and at least one of them has been left with a cold.

“It is tiresome to walk in this dust and hot sun,” said Derick Pinto, a trekker and a candidate from Pyramid Party of India in Mangalore South. “Trekking is healthy, but the walk during the campaign physically exhausted me,” said Mr. Pinto, who is down with cold. Mr. Pinto said he walked nearly 100 km during the 20-day campaign.

Though agreeing that the hectic campaigning did take a toll of their body, the candidates from the national parties maintained that the campaigning did not adversely affect their health. “Yes there will be tiredness. But I have coped with it,” said BJP candidate N. Yogish Bhat. “I know how to sit for a long time (in the Assembly) and (am used to) walking a lot outside,” Mr. Bhat said. His rival and Congress candidate from Mangalore South J.R. Lobo said he was deprived of sleep during the campaign. “I was hardly sleeping for three hours a day,” he said and added that he, too, was used to long hours of walking.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate Vasantha Achari said he was used to hectic campaigning that involved corner meetings and door-to-door campaign. “We are used to these conditions and hectic schedules,” Mr. Achari said, and recalled a similar exercise the party did for the All India Bandh against price rise in February. Bantwal Congress candidate and District Congress president B. Ramanath Rai said the daily physical exercise schedule and yoga he followed helped him combat the rigours of campaigning. Former Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) candidate from Moodbidri Amaranath Shetty said plastic surgery to one of his legs restricted him from long walks. “I walked for a kilometre a day. It has been a good exercise,” he said.

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