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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Indore, December 04, 2012
After praising Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for its dedication and discipline last month and criticising party high command Sonia Gandhi early this year, Congress party Dewas MP Sajjan Singh Verma took a 360 degree turn on Monday. Talking to a section of the press, Verma said it will be difficult to accept P Chidambaram as the next prime minister as all the Congressmen have framed a mental image about Rahul Gandhi being the next PM. "Party high command takes this decision and not anybody else," he said when asked to comment on The Economist which indicated that Chidambaram will be the next top occupant. "In any case, credibility of The Economist has hit an all time low in last three years," he added.

Verma's statement that it will be difficult to digest any other person other than All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Rahul Gandhi is being seen as an attempt to get into the good books of AICC president Sonia Gandhi to consolidate his candidature for 2014 Lok Sabha elections and seeking tickets for his supporters in assembly elections in 2013.

In February this year, HT had reported about Verma revolting against Sonia Gandhi. He had told party workers that he needed to give some 'ant shant' (rebuke in no so polite language) to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi to persuade them to put the region on the railways map. "Gala akhiri mein dabayega (we will get hold of their neck)," he had remarked.  He then said, "Then only will they (Gandhis) open their eyes and ears."

When some suggested starting an agitation, he said, "Nothing will come out of the agitation. Akhabarbazi karvate raho (keep raising the matter in newspapers)." When contacted, Verma first denied having said anything but later justified it on the grounds that his utterances were common language in the area and had no other import.