According to Singh, Sonia Gandhi supported the view of Pranab Mukherjee, Arjun Singh and ML Fotedar that veteran CPIM leader Jyoti Basu was not suitable for the job of Prime Minister. However, Sonia finally didn't have to take a call about the matter as the politburo of the CPIM party didn't agree to Basu's name for the top job.
According to Natwar Singh, Sonia Gandhi committed another mistake in April 1999 when she was asked by Arjun Singh and others to stake claim to form the government. The then President Narayanan gave her two days to prove majority but finally the Congress failed to cobble up the numbers as senior Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh went back on his words. Natwar Singh claims that Sonia Gandhi was extremely embarrassed. According to him, the Congress President was new to politics at that time and hence was unaware of the manipulations that take place. Natwar writes that any other politician would have lost their job after committing such mistakes.