Sudden mercury rise forces candidates to adjust campaign hours

Kolkata: As the poll campaign gathers tempo in the metropolis, the temperature too rises apace but candidates have devised ways to beat the heat with some moving with water tankers in tow to quench the thirst of party workers.

Some are preferring to campaign in the morning and some in the evening when the sun is mellow. Still some others are banking on natural coolants like 'lassi' and coconut water to keep themselves hydrated.

Trinamool's North Kolkata sitting MP Sudip Bandopadhyay said he was rooting for evenings for his poll campaigns.

"In this summer it is best to stay indoors in the afternoon hours," he said.

His competitor and Congress candidate Somen Mitra is also doing the same by avoiding any outdoor campaign after 12 pm.

"I am unable to campaign in these hot afternoons. The best thing is to finish campaign by 10-11 AM and start again after sunset," he said.

Whenever the heat is at its peak, he has even decided to carry a water tanker along with him as he moves around in his constituency.

To energise party workers to carry on outdoor campaigning by means of 'para' (neighbourhood) meetings, Bandopadhyay has even coined a slogan - "Thanda, Thanda. Cool, Cool. Vote din (for) Trinamool".

This week, the day temperature in the metropolis has seen going upto 39.9 degrees Celsius while the southern and western districts of West Bengal sizzled at over 40 degrees.

The maximum temperature reported in March, 2013 was only 32.6 degrees while this time the heat wave-like condition is being reported from different parts of the state.

The parties have also started ordering large number of caps and umbrellas, printed with party symbols, which would be distributed to party workers during campaigning.

BJP state president Rahul Sinha said it had asked party workers and candidates to take extra precaution for the heat, lest they may fall sick.

As she moves around convincing voters, Left Front's candidate Rupa Bagchi makes it a point to have her glass of 'lassi' while another Left nominee Mala Roy quenches her thirst with coconut water.

PTI
First Published: Wednesday, April 02, 2014, 12:53
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