Left parties on Wednesday demanded the resignation of Shashi Tharoor, saying it was 'highly inappropriate' for a minister in the Union government to be involved in 'murky dealings' with regard to the IPL.
Noting that the IPL is not just a sporting event but a "big business enterprise in which big money is involved", the Communist party of India - Marxist said it was "highly inappropriate for a minister in the Union government to be involved in such murky dealings".
Tharoor is battling allegations that a beautician romantically linked to him had received Rs 70-crore free equity in the Kochi IPL team.
"It is incumbent upon Tharoor to step down from office till his name is cleared of any unethical or irregular behaviour," the party said in a statement.
"The involvement of Tharoor in the IPL franchise for the Kochi team has raised a number of questions. It now transpires that a person associated with him has got 19 per cent free equity worth Rs 70 crores in the company that led the consortium which got the franchise," it said.
The CPI-M said the United Progressive Alliance government should also explain whether its ministers can be involved in business dealings in the IPL.
"The government should probe the source of certain funds flowing into the tournament and reconsider whether any tax exemptions or concessions are justified for this commercial enterprise," it added.
Communist Party of India National Secretary D Raja also demanded Tharoor's resignation, saying his continuance in the government has become 'untenable'.
"There should be an inquiry into it. Tharoor should step down as his continuance has become untenable," Raja said.