Maha govt all set to buy Dr. Ambedkar’s London house

RSTV Bureau
London: File photo of the bungalow on King Henry's Road in North London, where Dalit icon and architect of Indian Constitution Dr. B R Ambedkar lived during his student life in the 1920s. Maharashtra government sealed the deal to acquire the ownership of the house on Thursday, and will be converted in to an international memorial.  Photo - PTI

London: File photo of the bungalow on King Henry’s Road in North London, where Dalit icon and architect of Indian Constitution Dr. B R Ambedkar lived during his student life in the 1920s. Maharashtra government sealed the deal to acquire the ownership of the house on Thursday, and will be converted in to an international memorial.
Photo – PTI

The government of Maharashtra is all set to buy Dr. BR Ambedkar’s house in London for around Rs. 40 crore. The state government has already announced that the house will be converted into a memorial honouring Dr. Ambedkar.

“The Indian High Commission in London will exchange contracts with the owner of the house by Friday afternoon. Once that is completed, the state government will pay money within the next two days after which the house will be ours,” Minister of State for Social Justice Dilip Kamble said.

The minister in the state government also said that Maharashtra government had already paid a token amount of Rs 3.10 crore to the owner. The rest will be paid once the final transfer is made.

The buying of a property in London bears significance after the state government had proclaimed to acquire the 2,050 sq feet bungalow for Rs 31 crore and to preserve it as a memorial of Ambedkar. Though the announcement was made earlier this year, the actual purchase could only materialise now, after a delay of seven months.

Speaking on the subject, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “Maharashtra government formally does the deed of exchange to buy the house where Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar used to live in London”.

devendra_fadnavis“10 percent amount (is) transferred to owner. Once deed is registered with (the) registry, entire amount will be transferred. Minister Badole (was) present at historic moment,” Fadnavis wrote on the micro-blogging site Twitter.

Earlier, the Maharashtra government had come under the sharp criticism of the Opposition parties after the former received an ultimatum by the house owner, who had asked the state government to buy the house before 24th August.

Taking on the state government over the issue, the opposition, in particular Congress party, had even said that it will raise the money for the purchasing of the house.

Among the founding fathers of the nation, Dr Ambedkar had lived at 10, King Henry Road, London between 1921-22 while pursuing his DSC (Doctoral) studies at the London School of Economics. Dr. Ambedkar also wrote some research papers during that period.

(With inputs from the PTI)