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Our netas eat light for heavy-duty summer campaigning

Roti-sabzi, fruits, curd, green tea & plenty of water keep MP hopefuls on the move

By Animesh Bisoee in Jamshedpur
  • Published 16.04.19, 1:01 AM
  • Updated 16.04.19, 1:01 AM
  • 2 mins read
Taking a sip break: Congress candidate Subodh Kant Sahay drinks water during hectic campaigning at Nagri, Ranchi, on Sunday. Picture by Manob Chowdhary

Sweating it out in the April heat and dust for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, key faces in Jharkhand politics may be divided on ideology but united in a healthy diet.

If something unites candidates Arjun Munda (BJP, Khunti), Subodh Kant Sahay (Congress, Ranchi), Sanjay Seth (BJP, Ranchi), Bidyut Baran Mahto (BJP, Jamshedpur) apart from the desire to win polls, it is roti-sabzi. This apart, they vouch for green tea, buttermilk, watermelons, curd and other light and healthy sips and munches.

The need for campaigners eating healthy shot into the limelight when sitting Seraikela MLA from JMM and Opposition alliance candidate for Jamshedpur seat Champai Soren, 63, got so dehydrated on Saturday night that he had to be admitted to Tata Main Hospital. Released on Monday evening, Champai, a diabetic, admitted, “I wasn’t eating at proper times which took a toll on my health. I will have to take small and light meals in-between campaigns.”

Three-time chief minister and former Kharsawan MLA Arjun Munda, 51, who would file his nomination for Khunti Lok Sabha seat on Tuesday, is relying on light meals, cucumbers, fruit salads, green tea and enough water.

“I prefer a light diet in summer,” Munda said briefly.

Munda’s close aide, who accompanies him during campaigning, said the politician normally began his day from Ranchi to Khunti around 8.30am after a workout on his treadmill, a light breakfast of roti-sabzi and green tea. “We keep enough mineral water stocked in cars (during campaign). For lunch, usually at homes of Khunti party workers, we ensure it is light with rice, dal, vegetables and salads. Mundaji returns around 10pm for a roti-sabzi dinner.”

Businessman Sanjay Seth, 51, a Lok Sabha debutant from BJP for Ranchi constituency who will file his nomination on Tuesday as well, is also relying on fruits and vegetables.

“We are trying to make people aware of the achievements of the BJP-led government at Centre and state. The party has given me a responsibility and I have to fulfil it to the best of my ability despite the summer heat,” said Seth, who resigned as Jharkhand State Khadi Board chairman after getting the BJP ticket.

“Sanjay leaves home by 7am after a light breakfast of roti-sabzi and chhanch (buttermilk). We carry oranges, bananas and grapes along with biscuits in the car as there is no fixed timing for lunch. One has to attend 10 meetings with villagers every day and walk for nearly 10km. If there is time, Sanjayji has roti-sabzi and chhanch for lunch. He returns very late, past 12.30am, for a light dinner of rice, dal and sabzi,” the aide said.

Three-term MP and former Union minister Subodh Kant Sahay, 67, who will also file his nomination on Tuesday, has green vegetables and dahi (curd)-roti for breakfast. “During campaigning, one must have a light diet to beat the heat,” said Sahay. The seasoned politician takes part in some 30 interactive meetings with people in both rural and urban belts of Ranchi and walks nearly 17km on an average. For lunch, he has fruits such as watermelon, papaya and butter milk. He takes care to have enough water throughout the day. For dinner, he has roti-sabzi, rice and curd.

BJP sitting MP Bidyut Mahto, 56, who will file his nomination on April 20 for the Jamshedpur seat, breakfasts on gram and roti-sabzi. Lunch is basic with rice, dal and sabzi. So is dinner with grams, dal, roti-sabzi. Any tips for campaigners? “Yes, please avoid cold drinks and instead have lots of water,” Mahto, who leaves home at 9am and comes well past midnight, said.