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Centre clears Mumbai land for Ambedkar memorial


Mumbai/New Delhi : Decks have been cleared for allotting the Indu Mills land in Dadar for a world-class memorial dedicated to Babasaheb Ambedkar, the “father of the Indian constitution”, according to officials here Tuesday.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who had been camping in New Delhi with the single-point agenda of getting the 12.50 acres of mill land allotted for the memorial, notched success on the issue which has been raging for the past few years.

Union Textile Minister Anand Sharma will make the announcement in the Lok Sabha while Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla will make a similar announcement in the Rajya Sabha Wednesday, the eve of Ambedkar’s 56th death anniversary. He died Dec 6, 1956.

After Chavan met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Anand Sharma, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other officials, the issue was finally clinched, an aide to the chief minister said.

“We met the prime minister today and after clearing out all the formalities, it has been decided to construct a befitting memorial for Dr. Ambedkar. The prime minister assured us of full support and all help required for the purpose,” Chavan said.

Dalit leaders in the state have hailed what they termed “a historic decision” on the part of the centre to allot the land for the Ambedkar memorial.

“It is a victory of the Dalit masses and not of any single political party or leaders. We must welcome it and ensure that a magnificent memorial is erected for our great leader,” said Ambedkar’s grandson, Anandraj Ambedkar, who had spearheaded an agitation for the memorial since last year.

Republican Party of India chief Ramdas Athawale, who had warned of an agitation on the issue, said that if the announcement was made in New Delhi Wednesday, then the Thursday agitation call would be withdrawn.