Other States

Saibaba row: Vikhe-Patil warns of ‘legal fight’

The row over the State government’s decision to develop Pathri as a pilgrimage centre flared up on Friday, with BJP MP Sujay Vikhe-Patil asking why the claims that it was Saibaba’s birthplace surfaced only after the new government took over.

He said the people of Shirdi, which houses the famous Saibaba temple, might start a “legal fight”.

Congress leader Ashok Chavan, on the other hand, defended the government’s decision to provides funds for Pathri. “It will be improper to deprive them of facilities due to the controversy over the birthplace,” the State PWD minister tweeted.

The controversy began after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced a grant of ₹100 crore for development of Pathri in Parbhani district, believed to be Saibaba’s birthplace by a section of devotees. NCP leader Durrani Abdullah Khan claimed on Thursday there was enough evidence to prove that Saibaba was born at Pathri. “While Shirdi is Saibaba’s karmabhoomi (place of work) Pathri is his janmabhoomi (birthplace), and both places have their own importance,” he said.

Mr. Vikhe-Patil, the MP from Ahmednagar, said, “There was no dispute over Saibaba’s birthplace. How did it become an issue and new evidence come up after the government changed? No political leader can determine what was Saibaba’s birthplace.” “If this political interference continues, the people of Shirdi will fight a legal battle,” he said.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2021 1:05:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/saibaba-row-vikhe-patil-warns-of-legal-fight/article30590358.ece

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