Although the first phase of the elections to 97 Upazila Parishads are going to be held within three days, the Awami League and the BNP have failed to convince their rebel candidates in many of the upazilas. Since the date of the filing of the nomination papers, BNP was trying to get the rebel candidates by the party-backed candidates. But it failed to manage the dissidents. The party has finally taken strict stand against them for defying party decision. The party has already indisciplined few district leaders. The expelled district leaders are Lukman Hossain Khan, Noor Alam and Hannan Sharif of BNP’s Barisal district unit. The expulsion orders were signed by BNP Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Ahmed on Friday night. Rajbari district BNP leader Golam Shawkar Siraj and Munshiganj town BNP vice-president advocate Salauddin Khan Swapon were also expelled from the party. Earlier, the party also expelled some other leaders of Bakerganj upazila unit in Barisal district, Singair upazila in Manikganj, Goshairhat upazila in Shariatpur, Bhangura upazila in Pabna, Maheshkhali upazila in Cox’s Bazar and Senbagh upazila in Noakhali district. The party high-command, however, withdrew the expulsion orders against two leaders of Singair and Senbagh upazilas. Rizvi Ahmed said that the party was trying to choose single candidate for the 19-party alliance in every upazila. Actions will be taken against those who have defied the party directives, he said. BNP standing committee member Lt General (Retd) Mahbubur Rahman said, although the upazila election is a non-partisan one, BNP-led alliance has taken the election with utmost importance. The leaders and workers of the party and the alliance partners should follow the decision of the high command and they should work for the alliance-backed candidates. If anyone violates the directives, action will be taken against him, he said. After the January-5 ‘one-sided’ Parliamentary elections, both the camps took the upazila election seriously and it has become a prestige issue for them. BNP wants to repeat the city corporations polls performance at upazila level.