The high-voltage hearing in the Supreme Court on Monday over the government formation crisis in Maharashtra witnessed a sharp exchange of words between the two sides on the issue of horse trading.
"This is not a case of horse trading, but a case of one entire stable going the other way," Solicitor General Tushar Mehta remarked during the arguments on the numbers game in the state's Assembly.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal took note of the jibe and retorted: "The stable is still there, only the jockey (Ajit Pawar) has run away."
Mehta then took another dig that there was an agreement to file one petition by the combine but too many counsel -- Sibal, A M Singhvi and others -- were appearing in the case.
"The three parties can't even agree to field a common counsel," he said on a lighter note before a bench comprising Justices N V Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna.
The Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine has moved the top court challenging Devendra Fadnavis being sworn in as the state's Chief Minister.
While Mehta was representing the Secretary to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Maharashtra Government, Sibal was appearing for the Shiv Sena.