New Delhi: Political strategist Prashant Kishor on Thursday termed as a ‘tactical retreat,’ recent remarks on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, which, he said, was due to the nationwide protests against the NRC as well as the equally contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Kishor, also a vice-president of the BJP’s Bihar ally JD(U), has been one of the most outspoken critics of the Centre on the twin moves.

“The claim that there has been no discussion on a pan-India NRC is nothing but a tactical retreat in the face of nationwide protest against CAA and NRC. It is a pause and not the full stop,” Kishore wrote on his official Twitter account.

This, he said, was because the government could wait till the Supreme Court judgement on the CAA and the whole process could be back if the verdict is favourable. The apex court will hold hearings on anti-CAA petitions on January 22.

Kishor’s tweet follows recent comments made by both Modi and Shah, separately, that the government has not held any discussions on a nationwide NRC.

The introduction of CAA has triggered protests across the country mainly by the Muslim community, civil society and students, who say that the Act will strip Muslims of their citizenship and render them stateless. This, they say, is because in case of a Muslim being excluded from an NRC list, he/she won’t be an Indian citizen anymore as the CAA proposes to grant Indian citizenship only to non-Muslims religious minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.