A Congress minister in Maharashtra has asked the state government to coordinate with the Centre to acquire a residential property in London where Dr BR Ambedkar lived in the 1920s.
The 2,050 sq ft property on King Henry's Road, London, is expected to cost an estimated Rs 40 crore, state water conservation minister Nitin Raut said.
"I came across the auction notice of the house and pursued the matter," said Raut, a prominent Dalit leader from Nagpur.
"There is no politics involved," he said, when pointed out that the move comes ahead of the assembly polls in the state, slated next month.
"The ministry of social justice has given its written consent for the project. The chief minister is also very positive on the issue of acquiring Ambedkar's home in London," he said.
"An opportunity has arisen to purchase the former London residence of Dr Ambedkar. The landlord published an advertisement for sale of the house. It is a historic place where Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar lived in 1921-22," Raut said.
Ambedkar lived there while studying at the London School of Economics, he said.
"The Federation of Ambedkarites and Buddhist Organisation (FABO), UK wrote a letter to the Maharashtra government and the Centre, informing about the auction of the private property for Rs 40 crore. As I am associated with Ambedkarite associations, they approached me requesting for help to acquire the property through the state's and Centre's intervention," Raut said.