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Chavan meets Manmohan Singh to discuss Ambedkar memorial issue

December 31, 2011 - New Delhi

Maharashtra Chief Minister Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan along with other lawmakers met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh here on Saturday to seek his intervention in the construction of a memorial dedicated to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

The lawmakers demanded the PM to hand over approximately 12.5 acres land of a cloth mill in Dadar, Mumbai to the state government free of cost, so as to allow the construction of a memorial for Ambedkar.

Earlier, the central government had agreed to allot four acres of land for the proposed memorial. However, the Dalit parties refused to accept the offer and instead demanded that the entire land should be allotted for the memorial.

Speaking on the subject, Chavan said: "Maharashtra's Vidhan Sabha and Vidhan Parishad had moved a resolution by common consensus. The Prime Minister was made aware of the resolution by the representatives."

"A suggestion was given, which demanded that the land at Dadar, where Dr. Ambedkar's last rites were performed, which is a sacred land for the people of this country. Close to the memorial land is a cloth mill, which is owned by the National Textile Corporation. We demand that 12.5 acres of that land should be handed over for the memorial of Ambedkar," he added.

The Union Commerce Minister, Anand Sharma has said that the central government has decided to form a committee to look into the matter.

The NTC had earlier moved the Bombay High Court, stating that some Dalit activists had captured the mill and were unwilling to move out.


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