Candidates sweat it out in sweltering heat to connect with voters

Updated - April 16, 2024 08:11 am IST

Published - April 15, 2024 08:59 pm IST - Bengaluru

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah holding a roadshow in support of Congress candidate for Bengaluru South constituency Sowmya Reddy for the Lok Sabha elections, at Jayanagar in Bengaluru on April 8.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah holding a roadshow in support of Congress candidate for Bengaluru South constituency Sowmya Reddy for the Lok Sabha elections, at Jayanagar in Bengaluru on April 8. | Photo Credit: ANI

As the sun beats down relentlessly, Lok Sabha candidates and party leaders are literally sweating it out to connect with their voters. How are they managing to beat the heat? 

Early start

Almost all the candidates The Hindu spoke to said that, for one, they start early in the day — around 7 a.m. and wind up the forenoon session by 11 a.m. before resuming the campaign after 4 p.m. Some start even earlier than 7 a.m. to interact with morning walkers. However, some candidates are undeterred and going about all day wearing caps and covering their heads with cloth.

Ninety-one-year-old former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, whose party has entered into an alliance with BJP, has started campaigning for both the parties in full swing. The senior-most star campaigners in this election, Mr. Deve Gowda is visiting remote areas seeking votes for the alliance candidates. He has been advised by doctors to limit his fluid intake to around 1.5 litres a day, said his close aide.

“He leaves home early after breakfast and his next meal is only dinner. All he takes in between are fruits and he keeps sipping buttermilk and water. His diet is mainly ragi mudde (ragi balls), soppu saaru (greens with lentils) and kalu saaru (pulses curry),” the aide said. 

His son, former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy who has recently undergone a transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), has been advised to avoid dust and smoke. As both Mr. Kumaraswamy and his father are diabetic, they avoid fruit juices and consume tender coconut water, said the aide.

Hydration vital

Bengaluru Rural BJP candidate C.N. Manjunath, former Director of Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, said it is advisable for candidates to keep themselves hydrated. “With diabetes and hypertension being the common ailments of most candidates, they should avoid fruit juices and have buttermilk or water. It is also better if they have a diet with less oil and spice, preferably vegetarian, as a heavy meal can cause drowsiness and indigestion. This may lead to excessive sweating and fluid loss. Most importantly, they should keep a tab on their daily blood sugar levels,” he said. 

“With supporters bursting crackers and expressing their support by garlanding us, it sometimes gets claustrophobic. I have advised Mr. Kumaraswamy to not come out of the car till the smoke of the crackers settles down. I am also following the same,” he said.

Keeping throat fit

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who along with Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar, has the responsibility of ensuring the party’s victory, is taking all care to stay fit. “He has been avoiding junk, spicy and non-vegetarian food. He is taking lots of fluids including buttermilk and tender coconut water to keep himself hydrated. Most importantly, he sips hot water in between and after his public speeches to avoid throat infection,” said his media adviser K.V. Prabhakar.

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