Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to hold meeting to resolve controversy over Sai Baba’s birthplace
The controversy over birthplace of Sai Baba, a popular saint from Maharashtra, may get resolved on Monday. Following a protest call by the residents of Shirdi on Sunday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will discuss the issue in detail with the concerned people today. He has invited people from Shirdi (in Ahmednagar district), where the famous Sai Baba temple is situated and Pathri (Parbhani district), which is considered as his exact birthplace by some.
A controversy had erupted after Thackeray announced Rs 100 crore as grant for development of facilities at “Sai Janmsthan” (birthplace) at Pathri a few days ago. On Sunday, locals from Shirdi observed a bandh in the temple town protesting against the chief minister’s remark on terming Pathri as birthplace of Sai Baba. The protest was called off after Thackeray’s decision to intervene.
Some 25 villages had supported the call for bandh (shutdown).
“The chief minister has called public representatives from Pathri and Shirdi, CEO of Shirdi Shri Sansthan Trust Deepak Muglikar and others at 3.30 pm to discuss,” said an official from the chief minister office.
“CM has assured to meet people of Shirdi and listen to what they wanted to say. He will also interact with Pathri residents and resolve the issue,” said Neelam Gorhe, Sena leader and deputy speaker of the legislative council.
Shiv Sena MP Sadashiv Lokhande said the decision to call off the bandh was taken in the evening gram sabha meeting of local residents of Shirdi and representatives of the SSST.
Despite bandh, the Sai Baba temple remain opened on Sunday where devotees were allowed to offer prayers.