Mango and bel sherbet keep Lalu Prasad cool while campaigning

April 25th, 2009 - 2:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Ram Vilas Paswan Patna, April 25 (IANS) How do Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad and his wife, former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi, beat the searing summer heat while campaigning? Downing gallons of traditional cooling fruit drinks and keeping their heads covered with cotton towels.
With the mercury hovering at around 42 degrees Celsius and hot winds blowing, the RJD leaders are keeping themselves cool with ‘amjhora’ made of raw mangoes, ‘bel sherbet’ (wood apple juice) and their favourite ’sattu sherbet’ (ground gram juice).

Such coolers are the preferred drink of the common people as they are cheap and readily available.

“Laluji and Rabri Devi prefer home made natural drinks to fight the heat wave sweeping the state,” said RJD legislator Shayam Rajak, known to be their close confidant.

Rajak, a Dalit leader, is contesting from Jamui constituency where polling was held April 16 during the first phase.

During the hectic campaigning, “Laluji covers his head with a cotton towel like any rural man and Rabri Devi keeps her head covered with her cotton sari,” Rajak told IANS.

Another senior RJD leader Shakeel Ahmad Khan, who accompanied Rabri Devi and Lalu Prasad on their campaign tours, said the RJD supremo does not like soft drinks. “Laluji hardly drinks Coke or Pepsi, he goes for common home made drinks popular in rural areas,” Khan said.

In contrast are Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan and Janata Dal-United leader and state Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. While Paswan prefers bottled cold drinks, Nitish Kumar drinks mineral water as well as Coke and Pepsi, and sometimes goes for bel sherbet or some other traditional drink.

Many party leaders and workers can also be seen cooling off under the shade of trees on tall glasses of palm juice.

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