New Delhi, February 6: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra Tuesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "misrepresenting" lines from a speech of Jawaharlal Nehru and said not only is this "shameful" but it also shows the "bitterness" in the minds of the BJP towards the freedom movement and historical struggles for nation building.

In his reply to the debate in Lok Sabha on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address on Monday, Modi made repeated attacks on Nehru, claiming the Congress leader thought Indians were lazy and of low intelligence. Modi's nearly 100-minute speech was laced with sharp attacks on the Congress and the Gandhi family, and he said the party "never trusted India's potential". ‘Nehruji Thought Indians Were Lazy, Less Intelligent’: PM Narendra Modi Attacks Congress in Lok Sabha Reply (Watch Video)

Hitting back at Modi, Priyanka Gandhi said, "Did Pandit Nehru, the guardian of India's consciousness, consider Indians lazy? Yesterday in the temple of democracy, Parliament, Prime Minister Modi made this very allegation against Pandit Nehru. Is there any truth in this?" Before thinking anything, read and listen to that speech of Nehru, she said and shared the audio recording of the speech and the Hindi quote from it.

"Our people, forgetting to trust themselves, think that and other people will help them. Our village people are strong and nice. It has become a habit that instead of taking matters in their own hands they lean on officers and the government... Communities don't progress with the help of officers, they progress on their own strength. "The only yardstick to measure progress is how 40 crore people of India move forward. The community grows through its hard work," Nehru is heard saying in the audio recording.

"Look at the countries that are happy and prosperous, how did they become prosperous -- through hardwork. Be it European nations or American or Asian countries that our prosperous, it is hard work and unity behind their prosperity. Without these attributes progress cannot be made...In our India, generally the habit of working very hard has not been developed. It is not our fault, habits are formed due to circumstances," Nehru had said. Negative and Destructive Politics Responsible For State of Affairs: PM Narendra Modi Takes a Dig at Opposition, Says 'You Have Lost Courage To Contest Polls'

Misrepresenting Nehru's Lines from Speech 'Shameful'

"But the thing is that we do not work as hard as Europeans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians or Americans. Don't think that they became prosperous through magic, but they became prosperous through hard work and intelligence... We can also move forward with hardwork and intelligence, there is no other way," India's first prime minister said. In her post, Priyanka Gandhi said after independence, crores of people faced the challenge of filling their empty stomachs and the slavery, plunder and exploitation of the British had hollowed out the country.

"There were millions of deaths due to famine and starvation. If the Prime Minister of such a country tells his people that they have to stand on our own feet, work hard, and compete with the developed countries. Is that a crime? If the Prime Minister of a newly independent country inspires its people to become self-reliant, is it an insult to the people?" she said. "Not only is it shameful to misrepresent a few lines from the speech of the country's first Prime Minister, it also shows how much bitterness is filled in the minds of Prime Minister Modi ji, the BJP and the RSS towards our freedom movement and historical struggles for nation building," the Congress general secretary said.

It is not just that they will distort any one line or statement or programme or decision and we will clarify it, she said. "The thing is that when Modi ji, who is at the helm of power and the country's media, does such things, does it suit him and the dignity of his position? Or is it unreasonable to expect this from him?" Priyanka Gandhi said. In his remarks in the Lok Sabha on Monday, Modi had said the Congress got stuck in one family and they could never see and would never be able to see people's aspirations and achievements.

Quoting an Independence Day speech by Nehru from the ramparts of the Red Fort, Modi said, "Nehru had said 'we do not work as hard the Europeans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians or the Americans. Do not think that these communities became prosperous by some magic. They have achieved this by hardwork and smartness'."

"He (Nehru) is giving a certificate to those people to belittle Indians. This shows that Nehru ji's thinking about Indians was that they are lazy and of low intelligence. He did not trust their potential," the prime minister had said. Former prime minister Indira Gandhi did not think differently either, Modi had said.