MUMBAI: The 'exchange of contract' between Maharashtra government and the owner of the three-storey bungalow in London, where B R Ambedkar had lived as a student in the 1920s, will take place tomorrow, Minister of State for Social Justice Dilip Kamble said here today.
"The Indian High Commission in London will exchange contracts with the owner of the house by tomorrow afternoon. Once that is completed, the state government will pay money within the next two days after which the house will be ours," Kamble told PTI.
Earlier, a Marathi TV news channel had claimed that it is in talks with a UK firm for buying the London house even as the Maharashtra government is in advanced stages of purchasing the property for turning it into a memorial.
Kamble said that the government had already paid a token amount of Rs 3 crore 10 lakh to the owner. The rest was ready to be paid as and when required.
The state government, in January, announced the decision to acquire the 2,050 sq feet bungalow for Rs 31 crore and to preserve it as a memorial of Ambedkar, the iconic Dalit leader who headed the Constitution drafting committee.
The actual purchase was, however, delayed because of bureaucratic hurdles.
The Marathi newschannel 'Mi Marathi' claimed that it was in talks with a UK firm for buying the house.
"Associate Director, Goldschmidt and Howland (estate agent) in London, Adam French, has asked us to come up with an offer for the house," said Ravindra Ambekar, chief editor of 'Mi Marathi' channel.
"We had contacted him expressing the channel's interest in buying the house as we noticed that the state government was not expediting the process to acquire it," he said.
Between 1921-22, Ambedkar lived at 10, King Henry Road, NW 3, while pursuing his DSC (doctoral) studies at the London School of Economics. He also wrote some research papers during that period.