An excellent example of mutual butt-scratching (i'll scratch yours, so you better scratch mine) is the case of RS Sharma, the beleagured ex-police commissioner who's now spending his last few days in service as chief vigilance officer of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (sic).
After it was clear that Sharma had to go, Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde could have taken strong punitive action against him. But instead, he chose to take the innocuous approach of sending Sharma on a leave. And then Shinde proudly proclaimed in front of the media that he had taken "action" on the SIT report by asking Sharma to go on leave.
Since this was a much lesser punishment for Sharma than what was actually warranted, Sharma chose to keep his mouth shut since he had but a few days to go before retirement.
But the cries for Sharma's head were growing by the day. And they could no longer be ignored by Shinde. So, in the end, the state government led by Shinde had to initiate a departmental inquiry against Sharma.
As soon as the decision to initiate a departmental inquiry was made by Shinde, RS Sharma claimed that some ministers' (Maharashtra State Government) names had figured in investigations revealing links with the prime accused. It should be noted that Sharma could have divulged this information when he was quizzed by the SIT on November 8. But he did not do so!
And as soon as Sharma made this allegation, Sushilkumar Shinde had to whip out a mandatory denial today.
As soon as A stops scratching B's butt, B will stop scratching A's butt... and both A and B will suffer from itchy butts.