He said his party members would quit the Central cabinet if New Delhi did not take steps to halt the Sri Lankan military offensive in the northern and eastern areas of that country and ensure the protection of the civilian Tamil population. "From the time when Gandhi fought for freedom we know about non-violence, we can follow the same way to save the Tamils there, or even as demanded by our opposition. We are also ready to quit the ministerial berths. This is my final statement on this issue," he added.
Sri Lanka's intensifying offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which it has fought since 1983 in one of Asia's longest insurgencies, has roiled India's political scene and prompted heated diplomatic exchanges between the two neighbours.
But the Sri Lankan government says the rebels must be destroyed, because they are on a host of terrorism lists including those from the United States, India and Europe, and adds that it is increasingly confident of defeating them soon.
The escalating conflict in Sri Lanka between government troops and Tamil Tigers has roiled Indian politics.