Former Lok Sabha Speaker P. A. Sangma, who is presently on a nationwide campaign to muster support for himself in the Presidential elections, failed in his effort to meet YSR Congress president Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy in Chanchalguda jail in Hyderabad on Monday.

Mr. Sangma was denied permission by the jail authorities at the last minute on the ground that the nature of his visit was political. He later called on Mrs. Vijayamma, who is the honorary president of the YSR Congress, at her residence and sought the support of her party, which has two MPs, including Mr. Jagan, and 17 MLAs, in the Electoral College.

The Presidential candidate took serious exception to the jail staff in denying him permission, as he had written a letter ten days ago expressing his wish to meet Mr. Jagan. Recalling that an MIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi was allowed to meet Mr. Jagan in jail a few days ago, he said a different yardstick was being applied in his case, although he held a high constitutional office earlier.

He told reporters that he visited the jail at around 10 a.m. when a junior officer informed him that the jailor had not yet reported for duty and advised him to come back between 11 am and 12 noon. He returned to his hotel and was getting ready to visit the jail for a second time when the authorities informed his son, Mr. James Sangma, an MLA, that the meeting could not be permitted because of its political nature.

He pointed out that he knew late YSR’s family since a long time and his meeting with Mr. Jagan was a courtesy call. As the jail authorities refused to relent, the former Lok Sabha Speaker drove to Mrs. Vijayamma’s residence in Jubilee Hills. He congratulated her for the party’s resounding victory in the recent Assembly by-polls besides requesting support in next month’s Presidential elections.

YSR Congress leader M. V. Mysoora Reddy told reporters that the political affairs committee of the party would take a decision “as soon as possible” on its stand in the elections after consultations with Mr. Jagan.