Bengaluru: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray has finally backtracked on his statement in relation to the birthplace of Shirdi Saibaba. 

His statement had created a furore as the Shirdi Saibaba Sansthan Trust and agitated devotees lodged protests. 

He had said that Sai Baba's birthplace was Pathri. However, owing to the backlash, he retracted. As reported by Republic TV, Shiv Sena MP Sadashiv Lokhande along with deputy CM Ajit Pawar held a detailed discussion with Sai Baba trust representatives and decided to take back his statement. The meeting was held at Mumbai's Mantralaya on Monday.

Lokhande said that the CM asked the representatives whether they have an issue with the allocation of Rs 100 crore for the development of Pathri to which the Shirdi body held that they only oppose the declaration of Pathri as Sai Baba's birthplace and not any development initiative.

On Sunday, shops, restaurants kept their shutters down, maintaining a shutdown till the Chief Minister takes back his statement declaring Pathri as Sai Baba's birthplace. Throughout the bandh, the Saibaba temple remained open and all facilities like free canteen, free hospitals, free lodgings will continue to function regularly as always. While some Congress leaders have supported Thackeray's move, several NCP and Congress leaders have maintained that Thackeray should not have waded into the controversy.

It might be recalled that earlier on January 9, the Maharashtra cabinet held a review meeting of the development works in Parbhani district. In the meeting, CM Uddhav Thackeray announced that Pathri, considered as the birthplace of Sai Baba would be developed as a site for religious tourism. Thackeray also announced a grant of Rs.100 crore to Pathri, as reported by Republic TV.