The author, Sanjaya Baru, himself maintained that "it was not a secret" that Congress Gandhi held the reins of government, a point that was backed by former Cabinet Secretary T S Subramaniam.

"I don't," Chidambaram said when asked whether he would agree with the claim that Sonia held control of the governments.

Answering to a question whether in the past 10 years never was there an occasion when the PM had to go to No 10, Janpath for clearance, he said never in the past 10 years the prime minister has told him that he had to "go back and ask someone" to take decisions.

"We are in a party democracy.  There are decisions and decisions.  Some decisions can be taken within the government.

Some have to be taken only after consultation with the party. This is political party government.

"Some decisions were taken after consultations within the UPA.  Is not the CPI (M) consulted on a decision to be taken by its government. Do not state political parties given their inputs to their governments," he asked.

"If it is a political decision which requires political consultation, well, I myself have taken it to the Core Group," Chidambaram said.


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