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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014
Heavyweights run on a light diet in UP
Anupam Srivastava, Hindustan Times
Lucknow, February 12, 2012
First Published: 23:19 IST(12/2/2012)
Last Updated: 23:23 IST(12/2/2012)
BJP president Nitin Gadkari combs his hair just before his speech in Nangal, Punjab. (HT Photo/Keshav Singh)

It’s been almost two months that poll warriors of UP have been campaigning in the state. What’s the secret of their energy?

For seasoned leaders like Rita Bahuguna Joshi (Congress), Kalraj Mishra (BJP), Uma Bharati (BJP), Nitin Gadkari (BJP) and Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP) it’s their ‘simple diet’ that keeps them fighting fit. This includes energy drink, dry fruit and juice.

BJP leader Uma Bharati has only roti and chutni. She doesn’t even have dal, says Amitabh Singh, one of her aides.

“I don’t need a heavy diet as I am a daughter of the soil and am used to working in all conditions. I am a grassroots leader, that’s why I carry simple food.”

Kalraj Mishra said: “I don’t take any special precautions and have been meeting people in the cold. Yes, sometimes I prefer a cup of tea to beat the stress.”

He, however, admitted he likes dry fruit.

A close aide of Mishra said, “If he is going to address rallies, he prefers dry fruit during flights. Otherwise, he has simple and light food as he is a strict vegetarian.”

State Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s fitness mantra is fruit and salad. She usually skips day meals, said one of her aides accompanying her on campaigns.

“After food, one feels drowsy. That’s why she prefers to skip meals and maintains energy levels with fruit. She has been sleeping for only four hours, so you can imagine her requirement for maintaining fitness,” he added.

Some leaders carry homemade refreshments like fruit chat, sprouts and energy drinks such as coconut water and glucose with them during flights.

Gadkari is mostly on oil-free sandwich and light food like dal-roti.

The SP’s Lucknow president, Mujeeb-ur-Rehman ‘Babloo’, said.

“We are Samajwadis and cannot afford to have delicious dishes like others. Netaji (Mulayam Yadav) is simple and prefers only light food and a bit of salad.”


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