The comparison would sound jarring to some but it also happens to be somewhat appropriate. An immensely popular party leader refuses to turn up to a national body meeting, insisting that dissenting voices should be kicked out of the committee. The party leadership follows suit and dissenters are kicked out. In one corner, you have Prime Minister Narendra Modi and fellow Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sanjay Joshi. In another, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and senior Aam Aadmi Party leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan.

In both cases, the leaders used their political capital to prevail. Modi, then chief minister of Gujarat, refused to even attend the BJP's parliamentary board meeting in 2012 unless Joshi, with whom he had feuded before, was booted from the panel. Despite unhappiness from other senior leaders, Joshi had to resign. On Wednesday in Delhi, the same story played out as Yadav and Bhushan were taken off AAP's political affairs committee, its top decision-making body, with vague assurances that they will be given other roles.

A gag order was then placed on everyone at the national executive meeting, with no member allowed to talk about what happened inside, although it was apparent from early on that the decisions made were hardly unanimous. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal conveniently stayed away from the meeting itself and jetted off to Bangalore soon after to undergo treatment for his ill health, but the impression created and since confirmed was that he has prevailed. He wanted Yadav and Bhushan out of the PAC and that's what he's gotten.

This has prompted channels to dub AAP the "Arvind Alone Party" suggesting that Kejriwal has turned into an autocrat and, like every other political outfit in India, is silencing dissent and doing as he wishes. If he wants to dispel this impression and reinstate AAP's image as a party with a difference, he will have to do much more than tweet about how ugly the battle has become.

Who gets to speak the truth?
National Executive member Mayank Gandhi broke the gag order on the events at the National Executive meet to explain what exactly happened in a blogpost that further cements Kejriwal's dictatorial behaviour. But the fact that there was a gag order at all is also problematic.

Gandhi uses the blog to recall Kejriwal's actions back when he would negotiate with the government over the Lokpal Bill, insisting on revealing details of negotiations despite demands from ministers not to. Kejriwal defended this by saying that the people are as important in the process as the leaders. "Arvind used to answer that it was his primary duty to inform the nation about the proceedings, as he was not a leader but a representative of the people. Truth and transparency was all that he had."

What has now happened to this truth and transparency?

How do you handle dissent?
It has been rumoured for a while that Bhushan and Yadav had taken issue with some of the decisions made by Kejriwal regarding the party's future. Gandhi reveals that Bhushan had threatened on several occasions to hold press conferences against the party because of his concerns on candidate selection. Yadav, meanwhile, has used his media contacts to communicate his unhappiness with the party's approach to expanding.

Those in Kejriwal's camp clearly saw this as Yadav and Bhushan working "against the party." One way to deal with this is allowing the dissenters to be heard and figuring out a way forward. Instead, according to Gandhi's blogpost, Kejriwal said that he would not be able to work as national convenor of the party if the two were part of the PAC. Yadav and Bhushan were willing to leave the PAC, but did not want to be singled out because of their dissent. When it came down to it, however, the Kejriwal camp used a resolution to remove them as their instrument of choice, which Gandhi was perturbed by.

"I was taken aback by the resolution of removing them publicly, especially as they themselves were willing to leave. Also, this decision to sack them was against the overwhelming sentiments of volunteers from all over the world," Gandhi writes.

What principles do you hold dear?
Bhushan and Yadav may be out of the PAC, but the concerns they raised are not going to disappear. Bhushan in particular had made important points about how candidates are selected within AAP, how donations are processed and how internal discipline is maintained. Yadav brought up serious questions about whether the party should consider expanding beyond Delhi after its massive victory there.

Kejriwal's political nous cannot be questioned, not after his massive victory in Delhi, and so Yadav and Bhushan's concerns can be dismissed from a purely political purview. But AAP was supposed to go beyond pure power-seeking politics. Not addressing these questions and, instead, silencing those who ask them, tells the rest of the party that political gains are primary. 

Will dirty tactics be tolerated?
One of the factors behind AAP's victory in Delhi is said to be the BJP's willingness to take the negative campaigning route. In addition to saying all sorts of things about Kejriwal, the party even published a series of advertisements that depicted him as corrupt, hypocritical and even brought up his caste.

That appears to be nothing compared to what those in Kejriwal's camp appear to be willing to do to win internal battles. A senior Kejriwal aide quizzed a journalist on her source for a negative story about the party and a taping of this call was then used to build anger against Yadav. This one tactic is questionable from so many points of view that a failure to address it could have seriously negative consequences, especially in what it might encourage other AAP leaders to do.   

What is Arvind Kejriwal's role?
Kejriwal called it a "betrayal of the people's trust," an "ugly" battle and said he refused to be drawn in. He wasn't kidding. Reports suggested that Bhushan had been trying to get in touch with the Delhi chief minister in the week before the National Executive meeting to no avail. Yet even though he was not at the meeting, he was more than present. The resolution to eventually kick out Yadav and Bhushan came from Manish Sisodia and was seconded by Gopal Rai, two leaders firmly in Kejriwal's camp.

The pretence of being away from the meeting isn't just  a fig leaf, it also makes things worse. Kejriwal is famously stubborn, yet in the past year it is said he learnt from his errors from his first shot at being Delhi CM and has mellowed. Leaders are supposed to be present and work towards a united objective, rather than observing and attempting to remote control from afar. By not being at a crucial AAP meeting that decides the party's future, Kejriwal is himself betraying the trust reposed in him by the very people he claims to represent.