Shirdi: Annoyed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for calling Pathri the birthplace of Sai Baba, people of Shirdi have announced an indefinite bandh from Sunday onwards. Amidst the bandh, a crowd of devotees thronged Sai Baba’s Samadhi Temple as usual.
Deepak Mughalikar, the Chief Executive Officer of Sai Mandir, had already announced that the temple trust was not included in the bandh. Devotees who come for darshan will not have any problem. At the same time, the Shirdi administration has deployed a considerable police force from Nashik.
Shirdi and 25 nearby villages involved in the movement: Following the Chief Minister’s statement, people from 25 nearby villages including Shirdi are agitated. They said – There is no objection to the development of Pathri, but it is not right to call it Sai’s birthplace. Earlier too many false claims have been made about Sai Baba and his parents. We will continue the agitatation until the CM withdraws his statement.
Uddhav announced Rs 100 crore for Pathri: The controversy over the birthplace of Sai Baba has arisen following the announcement by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Pathri in Parbhani district is located about 275 km from Shirdi. Thackeray described it as the birthplace of Sai and announced Rs 100 crore for its development. There is no clear information about Sai’s birth but it is said that he came and settled in Shirdi and stayed there. After this, Shirdi was also identified with Sai.
NCP leader has also said Pathri is Baba’s birthplace: NCP leader Durrani Abdullah Khan claimed that he had enough evidence to prove Pathri as the birthplace of Sai Baba. He said, “While Shirdi is Sai Baba’s workplace, Pathri is his birthplace. Both places have their own importance. Tourists from the country and abroad reach Pathri, but there is no infrastructure. The residents of Shirdi fear that if the Pathri becomes famous then the arrival of devotees in their town will reduce.”