‘Play both ends against the middle’

When you play both ends against the middle, you do or say something which causes two individuals or parties to quarrel.

Examples: ”Atul is the consummate politician. He will tell you one thing and the exact opposite to someone else. He plays both ends against the middle.” * ”If Anand continues to play both ends against the middle the way he has, he is not going to have any friends left.”

Source:  ‘Know Your English’ Series – The Hindu Daily, August 1 , 2005.

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