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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Heat hits BJD campaign in Odisha's Puri Lok Sabha seat, Arup Patnaik hospitalized

The soaring mercury and rising humidity have hit the campaign of all the parties severely. The temperature in many parts of the state has been hovering above 42°C making the job of the political leaders tough. Bhubaneswar recorded the highest-ever temperature this year

Subhashish Mohanty Bhubaneswar Published 23.04.24, 08:27 AM
Former Mumbai Police commissioner and BJD’s candidate for the Puri Lok Sabha, Arup Patnaik, campaigns at Pipili on Monday.

Former Mumbai Police commissioner and BJD’s candidate for the Puri Lok Sabha, Arup Patnaik, campaigns at Pipili on Monday. Picture by Sarat Kumar Patra

Former Mumbai police commissioner and ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD)’s candidate for the Puri Lok Sabha candidate, Arup Patnaik, was taken ill on Monday while campaigning in the Pipili area of the district, about 20km from Bhubaneswar. He was taken to the hospital for treatment. Though he recovered, doctors advised him rest.

Patnaik said: “There was an open road show. More than 5,000 people participated in the roadshow. I was in the open jeep along with others. Suddenly I fell ill and party leaders including Pipili MLA, Rajya Sabha member and others took me to the hospital for a medical check-up. I am feeling better now.” Sources said Patnaik returned home late Monday night and did not have proper rest before venturing out for campaigning on Monday morning.

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The soaring mercury and rising humidity have hit the campaign of all the parties severely. The temperature in many parts of the state has been hovering above 42°C making the job of the political leaders tough. Bhubaneswar recorded the highest-ever temperature this year registering a temperature of 43.8°C, making things extremely difficult for leaders.

To avoid the heat wave, the political parties and their leaders start their campaign early in the morning, sometimes visiting popular parks and tea joints (Chai Khhati) where people gather and interact with them.

The campaign has so far remained low-key in the morning hours. The campaign is over by noon. There is hardly any campaigning between 12 noon and 4pm. During this time, the leaders prefer to remain engaged with senior leaders to chalk out their plans.

But the campaign kicks off in the evening hours after 4 pm. In colourfully decorated open jeeps and followed by their hundreds of followers, the leaders move out for campaigning during the evening hours. The campaign remains active till late evening up to 10 pm and later followed by meetings of the leaders with their workers to chalk out the plan for the next day. The meeting with workers sometimes wraps at 1 am leaving a few hours for the leaders to take rest. All of them wake up early in the morning to reach out to the people and avoid being exposed to the heat.

“We need to take only a few hours of sleep during this election campaign. We have a lot of work to do,” Bhubaneswar BJP MP Aparajita Sarangi told her followers.

Biju Janata Dal (BJD) candidate for the Bhubaneswar (Central) assembly seat, Ananta Narayan Jena said “ Campaign is important. However, we are taking all possible steps to avoid the sun. I personally advise my friends, and followers to adhere to the guidelines to avoid sunstroke.”

But in the rural pockets of the state where the campaign has started gathering momentum, the leaders’ campaign is going on till 2 pm.

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