Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said on Saturday that BNP is free to participate in the polls without tagging along criminals.
"They have to participate in the election without criminals. No country would allow participation of convicted persons in election," he said.
Inu was responding to questions by journalists about a comment "BNP has not split, rather it has become stronger" made by BNP secretary-general Mirza Fakhrul, before going to inaugurate a T20 tournament.
Inu also said, "BNP had no respect for the rule of law and so it had kept a convicted person as its chairperson and another as vice-chairperson."
"But then the party has a long history of harboring criminals.
"The party's foundation was built on these criminals," he said.
"This must end," he said adding, "They must find a better foundation for their party."