Evening meetings, light meals, fluids aplenty: Punjab candidates tweak campaign strategy in searing heat - Hindustan Times
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Evening meetings, light meals, fluids aplenty: Punjab candidates tweak campaign strategy in searing heat

By, , Jalandhar/patiala :
May 26, 2024 06:20 AM IST

Parties in Punjab have shifted their main programmes to evening hours, apart from keeping themselves hydrated. Instead of large gatherings, they have shifted to small drawing room meetings

As Punjab sweltered under heatwave conditions, with temperatures soaring above 45 degrees Celsius across the state, contestants are taking all precautions to beat the summer heat along with keeping the momentum of their canvassing.

As Punjab sweltered under heatwave conditions, with temperatures soaring above 45 degrees Celsius across the state, contestants are taking all precautions to beat the summer heat along with keeping the momentum of their canvassing.
As Punjab sweltered under heatwave conditions, with temperatures soaring above 45 degrees Celsius across the state, contestants are taking all precautions to beat the summer heat along with keeping the momentum of their canvassing.

With less than 12 days left before Punjab heads for the Lok Sabha elections, seeing the searing heatwave conditions, parties have shifted their main programmes to evening hours, apart from keeping themselves hydrated and having light meals at regular intervals. Instead of large gatherings, they have shifted to small drawing room meetings or holding it in air-conditioned marriage places. Also, many contestants are carrying ORS, lemon water, coconut water and juices whenever they are out to campaign.

The four main parties, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have shifted their main programmes, including ‘jan sabhas’, to evening hours post 4pm. “It is hard to convince people to attend rallies when the sun is at its peak from 12noon to 3pm. Leaders and their campaign managers have been advised to shift such poll meetings before 11am and after 4pm,” said one of the zila parishad members.

“The searing heat conditions have slowed down the pace of canvassing. Instead of holding public gatherings in afternoon hours, they are focusing on organising short gatherings in evening hours,” said Congress Jalandhar district president Rajinder Beri.

Jalandhar BJP candidate Sushil Kumar Rinku said the temperature has simmered for the past few days, therefore, it is important for leaders to keep themselves hydrated.

Another AAP leader from Hoshiarpur said the sun is playing a major spoilsport during the campaigning, but they have no option but to cover maximum area on a daily basis.

“I always tell leaders and workers to keep their body hydrated in such extreme conditions,” he said.

As the severe heatwave conditions continue to prevail, candidates have been avoiding the open large gatherings.

Four-time MP and BJP candidate Preneet Kaur said she carries ORS and lemon water with her whenever she is out to campaign.

“It is getting hard by the day. Not just for the candidates but also for electorates, who reach the venue in advance to listen to us. The prevailing heatwave has already become a challenge for us. But you cannot fight nature,” said Kaur, 79.

The health department in view of the prevailing severe heatwave alert has advised people to avoid venturing out in the afternoon.

Punjab health minister and AAP candidate from Patiala LS seat, Dr Balbir Singh, who is also an ophthalmologist, said, “I have increased liquid intake. Be it lassi or water, I make sure that I drink enough.”

“Now we start as early as 6 am to cover all the areas and avoid activities in the afternoon,” she said.

Dr Sumeet Singh, nodal officer, climate change and human health programme, said, “One should drink plenty of water. One should prefer liquids such as ORS, lemon water, lassi, coconut water or juices, which can replenish salts and minerals in the body. Avoid aerated drinks as they increase urine output. Besides, avoid any outdoor movement during 1-4 pm if possible.”

Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, former Patiala MP and Congress candidate, said he consumes smoothies in the morning before leaving the house to keep himself hydrated. Dr Gandhi, who is a cardiologist, said “I take plenty of liquids throughout the day, and avoid chilled water to save myself from sore throat as I have to speak throughout the day.”

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