The Trinamool Congress stood firm that it will not accept finance minister Pranab Mukherjee as President and rejected the Congress' criticism that party chief Mamata Banerjee had acted "unethically" on Thursday.
Banerjee will not attend the meeting of UPA leaders in Delhi on Friday and will support APJ Abdul Kalam for President, TV channels reported.
Trinamool leaders rejected allegations that Banerjee had "broken decorum" when she announced in Delhi that Mukherjee and vice president Hamid Ansari were the Congress's choice for the President's post.
Reacting to Congress slamming Banerjee for revealing the names of their preferred presidential candidate to the media Wednesday, Trinamool MP Kunal Ghosh said That Banerjee took Gandhi's permission before doing so.
He said Banerjee had told Gandhi that when she went out, the media will ask her about the names and asked if she could reveal the two names.
Ghosh further said that Banerjee could not meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday due to unavoidable circumstances.
He also said there will be a contest if the Congress goes ahead with its proposed names for the presidential candidate, including Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
"Today, I can visualise a contest if Congress go ahead with those names, either Pranab Babu or Hamid Ansari. Trinamool Congress, Mamata Banerjee our chief and Samajwadi Party, Mulayam Singh, they may go with APJ Abdul Kalam," he said.
(With IANS input)