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Candidates bracing up to beat the heat

Afshan Yasmeen
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Many have undergone health examination

Fluctuations in blood pressure, acidity, dehydration, increased sugar levels, throat infection, fatigue and tanned skin are some of the health issues that candidates may face while sweating it out under the sun during the election campaigning.

While most have undergone health examinations as a precaution, some have even engaged nurses to take care of their basic health round the clock.

But veterans, including JD(S) national president H.D. Deve Gowda, Congress candidates for Bidar and Gulbarga, N. Dharam Singh and M. Mallikarjun Kharge, who are all diabetic, claim to be seasoned enough to cope with the scorching sun.

C.K. Jaffer Sharief (82), who is disgruntled with the Congress for denying party ticket to contest from Bangalore Central, has engaged a male nurse. According to a family member, Mr. Sharief (who is on a pilgrimage to Makkah) is not very careful about his diet. “Although he had an open heart surgery some years ago, has diabetes and hypertension, most of the time he skips lunch. Sometimes he likes to munch on a vegetable sandwich ordered from his favourite fast-food joint,” said the family member.

“We keep sugar-free lozenges handy as his throat dries up after he addresses the crowds continuously,” he said.

In the case of Mr. Deve Gowda, his associates carry water from home whenever he is out of Bangalore for campaigning. Although he is entitled to the services of a government doctor (in his capacity as the former Prime Minister), he makes use of this facility only when required, out of Bangalore.

“His attire — white cotton shirt and panche — keeps him cool during the campaigning. Except for diabetes, blood pressure and knee pain, our leader is fit even at the age of 81. Apart from sugarless coffee or tea, we give him buttermilk and tender coconut. His diet of ragi balls and soppu saaru with vegetables and curds helps beat the heat naturally,” said a close associate of Mr. Deve Gowda.

Doctors’ prescription

The common advice of doctors for these veterans is to have food and their medicines on time. C.N. Manjunath, Director of Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, said it was important the candidates consume adequate liquids. “Fruit juices and fruits are recommended. They can also keep biscuits handy,” he said. Most were prone to respiratory infections because of bursting of fire crackers by their supporters and people talking to them from a close distance.

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