Shirdi: People in Shirdi have called for two days bandh amid rising dispute over Sai baba birthplace. All the hotels and shops would remain closed for two days starting from January 19 to mark protest over Maharashtra governments approval of Pathri development project.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Deepak Madukar Muglikar, has said that Sai Baba Temple in Shirdi will remain open on January 19. He said, "There are some reports in media that Sai Temple in Shirdi will remain closed on January 19. I want to clarify that it is just a rumour. Temple will remain open on January 19.''
A member of Saibaba Sansthan Trust said that a meeting will be held with the residents of Shirdi on Saturday evening to discuss the matter.
The residents of Shirdi have the apprehension that the temple will lose its importance if Pathri in Parbhani is proven as the birthplace of Saibaba. Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackrey has announced a grant of Rs 100 crore for the purpose of developing Pathri. Thackrey approved the project while he was in his 2-days Ahmedabad tour.
Reportedly, residents of Pathri and Shirdi are continuously seen fighting over the issue. The Saibaba temple at Shirdi is one of the most popular destinations in the country, with lakhs of devotees thronging it every year.
The temple also receives crores of donation every year by the devotees visiting the temple.