Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a “Mauni Baba”, or silent spectator, who only speaks about the problems India is facing when he is abroad, the Shiv Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana on Friday.

During his visit to London on Thursday, Modi had said “rape is rape” and should not be politicised, referring to the rape cases in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao and Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua.

On Friday, in an editorial titled “Manmohan Modi”, the Sena said, “Now, Manmohan Singh has started speaking but Modi has become mute. It can be considered a revenge taken by fate against BJP.”

The Sena was referring to remarks made by the former prime minister days earlier, when he criticised Modi for not speaking up more often, especially when the whole nation was angered by the brutal rape cases. Singh had said Modi should follow his own advice, and that his silence led people to think they could get away without action being taken against them.

In the editorial, the Sena called Singh’s advice to Modi fair, but added, “Still, what Manmohan Singh has said is a half-truth.” The Sena said Modi became a “Mauni Baba in India, but he talks when abroad”. It said India’s capital should then be shifted to London, New York, Tokyo or Paris, or, New Delhi should be made into a film set that looks like a foreign city.

“He doesn’t feel that he must talk in India. He feels nauseated about the happenings here and then he goes to abroad to talk about domestic issues,” it said. It also criticised the prime minister for “painting India as an unsafe country”.

“Is it right for the Prime Minister to speak about rape cases in a foreign country?” the editorial said.

Referring to diamond trader Nirav Modi, accused in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank scam, and industrialist Vijay Mallya, who are both reportedly in London, the Sena said, “Our Prime Minister goes to the country that has sheltered them and comes back empty-handed.”

The Shiv Sena, which shares power with the Bharatiya Janata Party in Maharashtra, passed a resolution on January 23 declaring that it will not partner the BJP either in the Lok Sabha polls or in the Assembly elections in the state, both due in 2019.

The resolution came as no surprise given the Shiv Sena’s frequent criticism of the BJP over the past year and its remarks about the BJP’s decisions in its mouthpiece Saamana. In October 2017, MP Sanjay Raut had called the BJP the Shiv Sena’s “principal enemy” and said the Shiv Sena was part of the Maharashtra government “just for the sake of it”.