Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha on Wednesday said the Bharatiya Janata Party was now a “party of the dead”, PTI reported. A former member of the party himself, Sinha said only two leaders were running the BJP now – an apparent reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah. Sinha said other party members are too “scared” to challenge Modi and Shah.

Sinha’s statements came after the party lost power in the recently held Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. He was speaking at the JS Karandikar Memorial Lecture organised by the Pune Union of Working Journalists.

Asked on a possible change in leadership in the BJP, Sinha said, “There will not be any change in the leadership [of the BJP] because everybody is scared...Some people in the BJP would often criticise the Congress and dub it as ‘murdo ki party’ [party of the dead], but today the BJP has become ‘murdo ki party’.”

Sinha praised Congress President Rahul Gandhi for a “responsible statement” after the results of the elections, but stressed that the Opposition party’s history has not been good. “We cannot forget their track record includes the Emergency also,” Sinha said. “However, the leadership of Rahul Gandhi is different from the previous one and I do not think he would toe the same line.”