NEW DELHI (AFP) Indian minister and former high-flying UN official Shashi Tharoor was under pressure Wednesday to step down over a controversy involving the ownership of a new IPL cricket team. Junior foreign minister Tharoor has been in the eye of a storm since Sunday when news broke that a female friend said by Indian media to be his girlfriend had been granted a free stake in a new franchise of the glitzy Indian Premier League. Tharoor had helped to put together the consortium that bought the Kochi team in Kerala, the state he represents in parliament and the opposition has alleged that the free stake worth 15 million dollars was a consideration for his services. The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has demanded he resign and the Communist party echoed the call on Wednesday, urging the 54-year-old to step down until his name is cleared. The whole episode is getting murkier and murkier. Tharoors continuation in the job has become untenable. He should quit, D. Raja, senior leader of the Communist Party of India told AFP. The Congress party, which Tharoor joined in 2008, initially backed him, but has since fallen silent. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a close ally, said during a visit to Washington that he is seeking details on the controversy. The suave, debonair Tharoor, who spent almost three decades in the United Nations before quitting in 2007, was elected MP from Thiruvananthapuram, capital of southern Kerala state last year. He has denied allegations of impropriety, saying he had neither invested nor received a rupee for my mentorship of the team. Whatever my personal relationships with any of the consortium members, I do not intend to benefit in any way financially from my association with the team now or at a later stage, he said in a statement posted on his website. Tharoor made many enemies in the Congress when the rank outsider was elevated to the post of junior minister by Prime Minister Singh. The free stake was revealed by the IPL chief Lalit Modi, who leaked the details on microblogging website Twitter. The former UN communications chief has since infuriated many Congress leaders with his tweets on Twitter on government austerity measures and public remarks seen as critical of government policy.