Amid fresh controversy over the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Monday dismissed demands for the resignation of Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, dubbing as "absurd" reports that he was holding shares in the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

"The BJP does not have designation at the Centre and therefore was demanding the resignation. We want Pawar to sign and not to resign,” NCP chief spokesman D.P. Tripathi said.

He said as per company law, a person who does not have a majority shareholding in any company, is not decisive in decision-making.

"It is an absurdity because Pawar has only 0.05 per cent shares of the company and 99.95 per cent of shares are owned by others," he said.

Mr. Tripathi’s comments came in the wake of reports that Mr. Pawar and his family own over 51,000 shares (0.05 pc of the company’s total equity) in Vijay Mallya’s United Spirits Ltd (USL), of which Royal Challengers Sports Private Ltd (RCSPL) is a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Mr. Tripathi also made light of the controversy over the January 31 resolution of City Corporation permitting Managing Director Aniruddha Deshpande to bid for an IPL team on behalf of the company.

"So far as bidding for IPL team is concerned, the March 17 resolution is final and the earlier decision stands cancelled," he said and asserted that Mr. Pawar and his family had no stakes in the IPL.

Mr. Tripathi said the controversy involving Mr. Pawar cannot be compared with the one involving Shashi Tharoor as the Agriculture Minister had not received any monetary gain from the IPL.

Mr. Tharoor was forced to resign as Minister of State for External Affairs in the wake of allegations that he misused his office to get Rs. 70 crore worth sweat equity for his friend Sunanda Pushkar from the IPL Kochi team owners.