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Maharashtra govt to buy London house where Ambedkar stayed

Maharashtra government has decided to acquire the 2,050 sq ft three-storey house in London where Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar once lived.

Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde, who is in London, spoke to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is on tour of Davos, following which the decision was taken to buy the house that was on the block for Rs 35 crore.

“The residence will be open to public from April 14, Ambedkar’s birth anniversary. One still meets people who tell you which libraries Ambedkar went to during his stay in London,” a statement quoting Tawde said.

Mumbai BJP President Ashish Shelar had earlier this month written to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeking Prime Minister’s intervention to acquire the house.

“This is an emotional issue for Ambedkar followers and people of Maharashtra,” Shelar had said.

Former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had also made a request to the Union government to buy the property.

“Towards the end of my term, we had asked the Centre to buy this mansion. It’s an international transaction and could have only been carried out by the Union Government. I do not know what happened later,” Chavan said.

Meanwhile, dalit leaders have welcomed the state government’s move.

“It is good that the state government took this decision and I thank the chief minister for this,” Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar said.

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