Strongly backing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for a second successive term, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK President M Karunanidhi on Tuesday ruled out support to any other person for the top post.
"Nobody other than Manmohan Singh can become Prime Minister," Karunanidhi, whose party is a key ally of UPA at the Centre, told reporters in Chennai.
Further emphasising his support for Singh, Karunanidhi said, "nobody other than Manmohan Singh will be the Prime Minister."
He said the Congress-led UPA would retain power at the Centre and the DMK's General Council would decide on its participation in the next government.
The 85-year old DMK patriarch, who went on an indefinite fast on Monday demanding immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka and called it off six hours later after Colombo announced ending the combat operations, asserted the Lankan Tamils issue would not be a major election plank in the state.
He slammed AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa for demanding the creation of a separate Ealam as the solution for the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka, charging her with raking up the issue just for electoral gains.
"Those who had been opposing the concept (of Eelam) tooth and nail are now supporting it with an eye on votes," he said, adding her demand for Eelam would not have any impact on the outcome of elections in Tamil Nadu.
Karunanidhi said he had been supporting the separate Eelam cause for the last 50 years like his mentor late C N Annadurai, who had also advocated homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Asked whether LTTE would be finished off in the Sri Lankan Army's offensive, Karunanidhi said a "liberation movement could never be defeated" and it would sprout out like grass.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse's statement on cessation of combat operations actually meant ceasefire, he said and hoped that it would be a permanent one.
Karunanidhi also said the 1987 Indo-Sri Lankan accord could form the basis for a political solution to the ethnic crisis in island. "It could be but with some changes here and there."
The DMK leader said he shared the CPI(M) stand for a Tamil state in the unified Sri Lanka with equal rights granted to Tamils at par with the Sinhala majority.
Asked whether he would take the initiative for peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and Sri Lankan Tamil groups, he said he would consider.
"If any package was evolved, we would ask the legal luminaries and political leaders to study and give their views," he said.
He expressed "satisfaction" over the impact of his fast in Chennai on Monday.