Hyderabad: Presidential candidate PA Sangma today sought the support of YSR Congress Party to his candidature and alleged that he was prevented from personally meeting YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in jail.
Sangma met YSR Congress honorary president and Jagan’s mother YS Vijaya Lakshmi and other important leaders of the party at her residence here and urged them to support him.
“I had a very very fruitful discussion with them. I appealed to them to support my candidature in the coming Presidential election. They assured me that very soon they would be calling the party office bearers meeting and the final decision will be taken”, he told reporters.
He expressed confidence that the YSRCP would support his candidature for the post of Rashtrapati.
YSRCP has 17 MLAs in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly in a house of 294.
Meanwhile, Sangma went to the Chanchalguda jail, where Jagan was lodged in connection with an alleged disproportionate assets case, but could not meet him.
Sangma claimed that he was given time to meet Jagan at around 9 am which was postponed to 11 am.
The meeting was, however, cancelled possibly at the intervention of “state government authorities and Union Government authorities”, he alleged.
“So I went back to my hotel and I was proceeding to the jail at around 10.45 am so that I am able to be there between 11 and 12 as told by the jail authorities. When we were about to reach the jail, my son James Sangma, who is an MLA, was informed by the jailer that my meeting with Jagan Mohan Reddy is cancelled and that I will not be allowed to meet him because my visit was going to be political”, he said.
“We explained to them that it is not political. We have a long association between the Sangma family and YSR family for more than 20-25 years. Late YSR Reddy was my close friend, so it was just a courtesy call,” the former Lok Sabha Speaker said.
“I know, I am a politician myself, that it is an after thought not to allow me and the jailer must have been directed by the state government authorities and by the Union Government authorities not to allow me”, Sangma asserted.
Recollecting that Hyderabad-based Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) MP Asaduddin Owaisi had met Jagan earlier in the jail and sought support for UPA’s Presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee, Sangma wondered how can he be not allowed to meet the YSR Congress president.
“We all know, some time back one Honourable MP from MIM (Asaduddin) Owaisi went to the jail, met Jagan Mohan Reddy and he campaigned for UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee. He came out after the meeting and announced that he had requested Jagan Mohan Reddy to vote for the UPA candidate. If Owaisi can go and converse, I do not see any reason why PA Sangma cannot”,
“Owaisi is a citizen of India, I am a citizen of India. He is a Member of Parliament, I have been a Member of Parliament for 31 years. Therefore, I decided not to go and came here to meet the honorary president of the YSR Congress,” he said.
Replying to a query, Sangma said, he could not meet Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president K Chandrasekhar Rao as he is out of station.
“I spoke to his (Chandrasekhar Rao) daughter. I am trying to speak to him”, he said.
Sangma said he had already met Telugu Desam Chief N Chandrababu Naidu who was also out of station today. Naidu was in Vijayawada to participate in a protest being organised by his party.
Sangma added that he would file his nomination on 28 June and tour the entire country after that.
Sangma is supported by the BJP, BJD and the AIADMK in his bid for the President’s post.