The Aam Aadmi Party released a video of Arvind Kejriwal's speech during Saturday's national council meet where dissident leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan were expelled from the AAP's national executive for "anti-party activities".
A month-long war between Kejriwal and the two leaders came to a head on Saturday with the founder-members being ousted in a 247-8 vote at the 311-member meet - marred by protests and chaos.
In the video, posted on YouTube and tweeted by the AAP's official Twitter handle on Sunday morning, Kejriwal can be heard saying: "There were attempts to weaken me, weaken the party. When I came back from Bengaluru, I spoke to members of my team and sent them the same night to speak to Yogendra bhai. From that day to day before yesterday (Thursday), we tried our best the problem would get resolved."
"He first said he had five demands which, if met, he would quit all party posts. It was slightly shocking, normally people say either fix the party or we will quit… It was all a sham. He was showing the world that it was a fight of principles," Kejriwal added.
"Take the party, but don't kill it like this… In the past one year, there have been fights in all the national executive meets, every PAC meet saw shouting and screaming. Now, you have to decide whether you are with me or them (Yadav and Bhushan)," Kejriwal said in the video that compiled clips from his speech.
Yadav and Bhushan had on Saturday termed the decision to remove them from the party's national executive a "farce and illegal", saying they might seek legal recourse.
They also hinted at floating another party if required. An AAP source said their expulsion from the party was imminent since their case will be referred to the disciplinary committee.
Ever since the AAP came to power in the national capital by winning 67 of its 70 assembly seats, the party has been embroiled in an internal crisis that has pitted Bhushan and Yadav against Kejriwal, the party's best known face. The duo has repeatedly questioned Kejriwal's supremacy.
Delhi chief minister Kejriwal was present at the meeting but left before the voting. At a media meet later, a visibly upset Bhushan said: "I have been telling him (Kejriwal) this that he has dictatorial tendencies and he must curb them.
"I have failed. Instead of curbing these dictatorial tendencies, he has ruthlessly stifled any opposition," he told reporters.
Yadav also said that goons were also present at the meet who beat their supporters.
AAP was quick to reject the charges as "baseless" with its leader Sanjay Singh saying that Yadav and Bhushan wanted to gain sympathy. "No violence had taken place. No one was hit or injured," he told media after the meeting.