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Saibaba birthplace row: Uddhav Thackeray meets Shirdi temple trust members, strike called off

The people in the temple town of Shirdi started protesting after the chief minister said the religious leader was born in the village of Pathri.

Saibaba birthplace row: Uddhav Thackeray meets Shirdi temple trust members, strike called off
A file photo of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. | PTI

Shiv Sena leader Kamlakar Kote on Monday said party chief and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had agreed that the village of Pathri in Parbhani district would not be declared the birthplace of religious leader Saibaba, ANI reported.

A controversy had erupted after Thackeray announced Rs 100-crore grant for the development of facilities at Pathri and called it “Sai Janmasthan”. The residents of the town of Shirdi, which has a famous temple dedicated to Saibaba, observed a total shutdown on Sunday in protest against the comment, and asked the chief minister to take it back. While some devotees believe Pathri to be the religious leader’s birthplace, Shirdi residents have claimed that Saibaba’s exact place of birth is unknown. The strike was called off late on Sunday after Shiv Sena MP from Shirdi Sadashiv Lokhande met local people.

Earlier on Monday, a delegation of 40 people, including Sai Temple Trust members and Lokhande, met Thackeray at the state secretariat in Mumbai. “Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has accepted our demands,” Kote told ANI. “People of Shirdi are satisfied with what he said. He has assured us that no new dispute will be created and we are ending the matter.”

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