In a secretly taped conversation that emerged on Friday, Arvind Kejriwal is allegedly heard abusing fellow party members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, who have questioned the Delhi chief minister's style of functioning.
Kejriwal also purportedly threatens the dissident duo that he would leave the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with all 66 newly elected Delhi MLAs, in the wake of an ugly power struggle.
"Any other party would have thrown them out," Kejriwal can be heard telling Varanasi AAP leader Umesh Singh, in a fresh controversy over yet another sting audio.
"You don't know how they (Yadav and Bhushan) were working against the party's interests during the elections....I am not here to be part of any brawl. I am contemplating starting a new party...will leave AAP with 66 MLAs. Best wishes to you to work with Yadav and Bhushan," Kejriwal allegedly tells Singh.
Hindustan Times cannot verify the authenticity of the audio.
The new sting has emerged hours after Yadav and Bhushan accused the Kejriwal camp of using "lies and conspiracies" to oust them from the party and alleged that any issue raised by them was being projected as questioning Kejriwal's leadership and attempts to remove him from the post of AAP's national convenor.
Insinuating that the tape was the handiwork of dissident leaders Yadav and Bhushan, AAP leaders said that the taped conversation was to be released at a press conference addressed by the duo earlier today. That did not happen and it was later leaked to the media," party spokesperson Deepak Bajpai said. He, however, refused to comment on the authenticity of the tape.
"They (the rival camp of Yadav-Bhushan) have been recording our conversations for the past nine months to blackmail the party leadership. We suspect that there are many such tapes and recordings of the private conversations. This also reveals that they had been hatching the conspiracy against the party leadership for quite some time now," he added.
"When Prashantji (Bhushan) heard the tape for the first time, he was deeply hurt. We really have no words to explain the kind of words he's (Kejriwal) heard using," a leader said.
Yadav, in his response said "this is not at all an issue for me, I have no complaints...he's my younger brother and has all the rights to say that."
Meanwhile, ahead of the National Council meeting on Saturday, Bhushan and Yadav have demanded videographing of meeting, secret ballot in case of voting and a neutral person to conduct the proceedings.
(With inputs from PTI)