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Lok Sabha elections 2019: Rising heat dictates campaign plans

The concerns of the candidates are not unfounded as city doctors said that this also the time when water-borne and food-related diseases such as jaundice, typhoid and gastroenteritis spread.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 29, 2019 12:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, NEW DELHI
Delhi,India Meteorological Department,IMD
When most Delhiites chose to stay indoors to avoid the scorching sun, candidates braved the heat to hold election rallies and went from door-to-door to seek votes.(HT Photo)

The triangular election contest in Delhi has another scorching dimension — the rising day temperature. As the campaign for Lok Sabha election 2019 picks up pace, the rising mercury is forcing the candidates rethink their strategy.

While the day temperature was hovering above 41 degrees Celsius on Sunday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast that there would be no respite from the heat over the next one week. The mercury could even hit 43 degrees on Tuesday, the IMD said.

Sunday was also the first weekend after all political parties finalised and announced their candidates for the coming elections.

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When most Delhiites chose to stay indoors to avoid the scorching sun, candidates braved the heat to hold election rallies and went from door-to-door to seek votes.

While some candidates such as Congress’ New Delhi candidate, Ajay Maken, have divided their daily schedule into two slots – morning till 11:30 and in the evening – to avoid the heat, others have incorporated changes in their daily diet to avoid falling ill during this crucial phase.

“I store water in a copper utensil overnight and drink at least four glasses every morning besides carrying a water bottle and glucose. During midday I take either coconut water or chhachh (butter milk). I try to avoid fried food and make sure to have at least two bananas every day. Besides this, I make sure that either I bring packed food from home or have cooked food in some party worker’s house,” said Brijesh Goyal, the Aam Admi Party candidate from New Delhi constituency.

The concerns of the candidates are not unfounded as city doctors said that this also the time when water-borne and food-related diseases such as jaundice, typhoid and gastroenteritis spread.

Manoj Tiwari, sitting MP and BJP candidate from North East Delhi, prefers a light diet, comprising dal and chawal. He said he drinks lots of water and butter milk and meditate to keep up the energy levels. He said he prefers to wear khadi and cotton kurtas to keep himself cool.

As Delhi goes to polls on May 12, the campaign would get over on the afternoon of May 10. The last 48 hours is called the silence period and no political campaigns are allowed. This leaves just 13 days (starting Sunday) for candidates to make their mark.

On Sunday, while the day temperature at Safdarjung, which is taken to be a representative of Delhi’s weather, was 41.2 degrees Celsius, at least three degrees above normal, the night temperature was 25.4 degrees Celsius, one degree above normal.

“The day temperature is likely to remain above 40 degrees Celsius over the next one week at least, as there are hardly any chances of a rain. There are possibilities of a dust storm around Tuesday and Wednesday but that would hardly bring any respite. The mercury could touch 43 degrees by Tuesday,” said a senior official of the regional weather forecasting centre.

And it is not just about the candidates. The parties are also ensuring that their workers also remain fit. Light snacks, chidva and lemon drinks are being distributed to party workers and even supporters at political rallies by some parties.

“A team member of Sheila Dikshit, three-time Delhi chief minister and the Congress’ face in North East Delhi constituency, said: “She has arranged all her rallies after sundown. This would also help the workers and supporters who come to attend the rally. We are distributing water sachets to workers and supporters at rallies.”

First Published: Apr 29, 2019 12:31 IST

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