The BNP has expelled its 19 local leaders for contesting the Barishal City Corporation elections, party insiders confirmed to The Business Standard.
The opposition party issued a letter to the expelled leaders on 3 June to this end.
"These leaders have betrayed the party and its ongoing movement against the autocratic government," reads the letter, a copy of which TBS obtained. The letter addressed the expelled as a historic heinous character Mir Jafor.
Moniruzzaman Khan Faruk, the convener of Barishal BNP city unit, told TBS that the party has taken stern action as they have participated in the polls ignoring the party decision.
"As they ignored the party decision, how can they remain part of the party? It is an instance of the penalty for ignoring party directives," he added.
The expelled are mostly district-level BNP leaders while three are from the Mohila Dal and Tati Dal. Of them, Kamrul Ahasan Rupon contested for the mayoral post and others for councillor positions.
Talking to The Business Standard, the expelled leaders said they were once active in the BNP but they have been isolated from the party for long.
"I left the party long ago and did not possess any position in the recent past. I have participated in the election as an independent candidate. I don't understand what is the purpose behind the move," said Kamrul Ahasan Rupon.
Others said they are not worried about the BNP's decision.