A Marathi TV news channel has claimed that it is in talks with a UK firm for buying the London house where Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar had resided for a time even as the Maharashtra government is in advanced stages of purchasing the property for turning it into a memorial.

The bungalow’s owner had reportedly threatened to withdraw the offer if the sale was not finalised by yesterday. The government may end up paying more than the Rs 31 crore that was decided initially. File picAmbedkar's house. File pic

"Associate Director, Goldschmidt and Howland (estate agent) in London, Adam French, has asked us to come up with an offer for the house," said Mi Marathi Chief Editor Ravindra Ambekar. "We had contacted him expressing the TV channel's interest in buying the house as we noticed that the state government was not expediting the process (to acquire it)," he said.

The state government plans to develop the house into an international memorial for the architect of the Indian Constitution.

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.

Amidst reports that the owner of the three-storey London bungalow may withdraw his offer to sell the property, the Maharashtra government had on August 24 informed that the "exchange of contracts" will take place within two days. All procedures related to the acquisition of the 2,050 sq.ft bungalow will be over and it will be handed over to the state government within the next 15 days, Maharashtra social justice minister Rajkumar Badole had said.