Opposition BNP on Monday night expelled 43 more of its leaders in Sylhet for taking part in the Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) election defying party decision.
With these 43 leaders, the BNP has so far expelled its 110 leaders, while 16 others have been served show-cause notice for taking part in the elections to five city corporations in Gazipur, Khulna, Barishal, Sylhet and Rajshahi defying party decisions.
Of them, 29 leaders in Gazipur were expelled at first for taking part in Gazipur City Corporation (GCC) elections.
Accordingly, nine leaders in Khulna were expelled for taking part in Khulna City Corporation (KCC) election, 29 leaders in Barishal were expelled for taking part in Barishal City Corporation (BCC) election and 43 leaders in Sylhet were expelled in Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) election.
Meanwhile 16 other leaders in Rajshahi have been served notices asking them to show cause about why punitive actions would not be taken against them as they were going to take part in the RCC election.
According to sources, the BNP has decided to take part in no election under this government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The party earlier had warned all its leaders and activists to follow the party decision. The party also warned the party leaders saying that punitive measures would be taken against those who would take part in any election defying the party’s decision.
But, no effort of the BNP was able to stop its leaders and activists from taking part in the city polls. Warning of expulsion and even the implementation of expulsion order from the party’s central office went in vain.
According to sources, although the central leadership, including BNP’s acting chairman in exile Tarique Rahman, does not want to take part in the elections under this government, BNP’s grass root leaders are in favour of the election.
They are adamant to take part in the city polls considering their political future.
In Sylhet, 43 BNP leaders, including independent mayoral candidate Md Salah Uddin Rimon, were expelled for life from the party for contesting the upcoming SCC election.
Of the remaining 42 expelled BNP leaders, 38 are candidates for the male councillors’ posts and four are female councillor candidates.
BNP joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi issued a notice in this regard on Monday night, Sylhet city unit president Nasim Hossain confirmed.
He said, ‘The 43 leaders and activists have been permanently expelled for disobeying the party’s decision to not take part in the upcoming Sylhet city polls.’
Initially, show-cause notices were sent to 41 leaders and activists for their participation in the election, defying the party’s directives on Saturday (June 3). However, they failed to provide a satisfactory response, prompting the central leadership to take further action. Later, two more names were added to the list.
According to a part of the expulsion letter, ‘Your (the expelled BNP leaders) decision to contest as a candidate in the SCC polls, disregarding the party’s decision, is unacceptable. Your actions betray the aspirations of the pro-democracy community, including the families who have suffered enforced disappearances, murders, and government repression during the past 15 years of the democratic movement.
‘As per the provisions of the party constitution, you are expelled for life from all positions, including primary membership of BNP. Your name will be remembered as a dishonest, traitorous figure in the history of saving democracy, similar to Mir Jafar,’ it said.
Abdul Qayyum Chowdhury, president of Sylhet district BNP, said that the party had chosen not to participate in the elections under the current government and Election Commission.
‘Those who disregarded the party’s decision and became candidates have been expelled for life by the central BNP leadership,’ he added.
Since the establishment of SCC in 2002, four elections have been held so far. Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran emerged as the winner in the inaugural election of 2003.