The Congress Wednesday distanced itself from the remarks of its tribal leaders, led by former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi, opposing the candidature of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader P.A. Sangma for president.
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said "it was his personal opinion".
Jogi, along with party's tribal leaders, told reporters here that Sangma was "playing into the hands of communal forces represented by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies".
Sangma has sought support from various political parties for his presidential bid.
"One should not declare himself as a presidential candidate. It is such a high office. It has never been demanded by any individual. The country chooses... the electoral colleges decide it. But Sangma has claimed it as tribal leader which is wrong," said Jogi.
On supporting a tribal candidate for presidency, Jogi said the party had not decided yet. "If the party decides for a tribal candidate we will definitely support it."