From round-the-clock working schedules to hectic deliberations with party workers and field visits in their constituencies - the top leaders of the BJP and the Congress are having an extremely stressful time even as their families are trying their best to ‘support’ them.
However, recognising the need to stay healthy in this high-pressure political scenario, these politicians are learning to taking care of their health, each having his or her own method of keeping robust.
Former chief minister Harish Rawat’s approach to take care of his health is consuming only “simple, home-made food”. “Since there is no certainty of schedules, he keeps home-made sabzi-roti with him, which is packed for him whenever he sets off (from his residence),” said a source close to Rawat.
BJP legislator Ganesh Joshi, infamous for his alleged attack which led to the eventual death of police horse Shaktiman, said he follows a “strict light diet” these days, consisting largely of “moong ki daal” and “kam mirch-masale wala khana” (food with very little chilly and spices). “I don’t find much time nowadays so I’m counting on a healthy diet,” the Mussoorie MLA told HT.
State BJP president Ajay Bhatt is putting his faith on “baskets of chana-murmura and biscuits” without which he doesn’t leave home. “I wake up at 5 am and go to bed only around 1 am,” he said. Bhatt is also taking care of his “religious and spiritual strength” by doing regular prayers, pranayama (yoga for breath control) every morning, followed by recitation of excerpts from the Ramayana or Durga Shaptshati. “I even do it on the move (in the car). How can I serve others (through politics) if I don’t take care of my own health?” he said.
Rudrapryag MLA and former cabinet minister Harak Singh Rawat, one of the nine rebel MLAs of the Congress, is swearing by the magic of chilled chhachh (buttermilk) whenever he finds time during his schedule.
Subodh Uniyal, another of the rebel MLAs, was a “regular evening walker” prior to the political turmoil. “I used to walk for at least an hour every evening,” Uniyal says. So, what’s his key to maintaining his health now? “Only two meals a day for me and a strict no-no to snacks,” the Narendranagar MLA said.
Even the families of the politicians are not spared this hectic schedule, ensuring that their loved ones are taken care of. For instance, the family of Raipur MLA Umesh Sharma ‘Kau’ is making sure that the diabetic leader not only follows his insulin regimen religiously, but also takes “small meals throughout the day as well as proper rest”.
“Father has been spending most of his time in Raipur and rest of the time he’s busy meeting supporters at home. So we are making sure that he carries light items like chana and green salad as well as lots of water with him,” said Kau’s son Gaurav, an advocate.