Millennium Post

Shutdown in Shirdi over Saibaba birthplace row

Shirdi: Shops and eateries were shut and vehicles remained off roads in Maharashtra's Shirdi temple town on Sunday, while an MP of the ruling Shiv Sena also extended support to the bandh called over a controversy on the birthplace of 19th century saint Saibaba.

The controversy erupted after Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray announced a grant of Rs 100 crore for development of facilities at "Sai janmasthan" (birthplace) at Pathri in Parbhani district. Local residents and leaders in Shirdi are demanding that Thackeray withdraw his official statement where he described Pathri as Saibaba's birthplace. The chief minister has convened a meeting over the issue at the state secretariat in Mumbai on Monday.

The bandh began here at midnight, but the Saibaba temple remained open with devotees being allowed to offer prayers, officials of the temple trust and Ahmednagar district administration said.

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