Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met 10 lawmakers and leaders from Punjab on Sunday and explained to them why he had apologised to Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia, PTI reported.

In a letter on March 15, Kejriwal apologised to Majithia for alleging that he was involved in the drug trade in Punjab. Kejriwal said his allegations were “unfounded”.

Aman Arora, AAP legislator from Suna, told PTI that Kejriwal had issued the apology as he has many defamation cases against him across the country and the legal battles were draining him and the party of resources.

Majithia, who had filed a criminal defamation case against Kejriwal, said it was a historic moment for him personally as it was rare that an incumbent “chief minister apologised for remarks that he had made”.

However, the apology created a stir within the AAP in Punjab, with the party’s state president Bhagwant Mann and its co-president Aman Arora resigning their posts in protest.

On Sunday, 10 of 20 AAP Punjab lawmakers met Kejriwal and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. According to some party leaders at the meeting, the legislators were convinced with Kejriwal’s explanation for apologising, PTI reported.

However, the meeting was not attended by some prominent lawmakers, including Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly, Sukhpal Singh Khaira, and Mann.

The Aam Aadmi Party will apologise to several people after facing 20 defamation cases in court, party spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj had said earlier.