When political parties aren't desperately fighting each other to win elections – such as in an out of the way bypoll that wouldn't alter the overall balance of an assembly – funny things can happen. Arch-rivals have been known to come to an arrangement that works for everyone, which is why the #SabMileHueHaiJi (they're all in it together) comment actually worked, until it became a punchline.

A set of tapes received by the Indian Express, allegedly between various players from the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party in Chhattisgarh, is said to reveal exactly this sort of collusion. The BJP won the Antagarh Assembly seat in September 2014 after the Congress candidate surprisingly withdrew his nomination before the last day of withdrawal, causing him to be expelled from the party.

The Indian Express doesn't explain the provenance of the tapes, saying only that it "received" them, but writes that two of the people whose voices are heard on them have confirmed that it is indeed them. The audio recordings allegedly reveal conversations between former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, his son Amit Jogi, both of the Congress and the son-in-law of the current BJP Chief Minister Raman Singh, Puneet Gupta. It also purportedly features separate conversations between the Congress candidate who withdrew and is now with the BJP, and a "Jogi loyalist" Firoz Siddiqui.

According to the Express, the candidate, Manturam Pawar, who withdrew at the last minute and moved over to the BJP, has confirmed that it is his voice on the tape, although he claims that the conversation recorded was "routine." Siddiqui has also confirmed his voice on the tape telling the Express that the "plan was to manage the election and ensure the withdrawal of Pawar."

The tapes effectively allege that the Congress and the BJP came to a deal over the candidature of Pawar, although the voices never spell this out directly. There is talk of money moving between the Chief Minister's house, as well as what Pawar expects from the Jogis. Later on, conversations between Pawar and Siddiqui make it clear that Pawar is unhappy that he withdrew, saying he would have won easily, and that he didn't get anything out of it.

Even at the time there were questions about Congress' decision to field Pawar, allegedly without his consent, in the seat. Pawar disappeared soon after withdrawing his nomination and showed up two days later at a press conference saying he never wanted to contest in the first place. He was later expelled from the Congress, and joined the BJP, prompting the former to ask the authorities to cancel the election altogether.