Yatris acquire 'aam admi' look

Stressed, unshaven, in crumpled clothes, they limp to their goal - Bellary

Weatherbeaten, haggard and stressed out as they near their destination, they have begun resembling the aam aadmi.

You may not be able to recognise them immediately when you seen them in person. The self-imposed walkathon, covering 313 kms from Bangalore to Bellary, has left them shrunk, literally.

The sunburnt, fatigue-lined faces of the netas are a commntary on the vagaries of a life without a chauffer driven AC cars and SUVs.

They have braved scorching sun, rains and heavy winds, all to prove a point or two to both the party high command as well as the ruling BJP. The brisk walk at the beginning of the yatra is now reduced to slow, painful gait.

With tanned faces, days-old stubble, visible weight loss and crumpled white cottons, the leaders now look different from their pictures on the flexes and banners dotting en route the padayatra.

KPCC President R V Deshpande, KPCC working president D K Shivakumar, V S Ugarappa, T B Jayachandra, Ramesh Kumar, Motamma and V R Sudharshan are unrecognisable from their natty, well-dressed, sleek selves.

Siddaramaiah has acquired a deep tan. He has not trimmed his salt & pepper beard for the last two weeks. Clearly worn out, he walks, or limps to be more precise, leaning on his aides for support.

With sparse population in villages on route to Bellary, there are not many people to mill around the leaders. With no celebratory crowds surrounding them, the leaders look like ordinary folk walking to the next village for a shandy or even for work under MGNREGS.

But the march has been an experience many of the heavyweights would not have missed. For, they have been able to fulfill their fond wish of shedding some excess weight. One such is Ramanath Rai, former minister. Known for his bulk, he looks slimmer.  “I have lost over four kg. I am very happy. The padayatra has helped a lot to improve my fitness,” Rai said.

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