The United Democratic Front (UDF) is the Indian National Congress-led alliance of centre to centre-right political parties in the Indian state of Kerala. It is one of the two major political alliances in Kerala, the other being Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front, each of which has been in power alternately since 1980 E. K. Nayanar ministry. Most of the United Democratic Front constituents are members of the Indian National Congress-led United Progressive Alliance at pan-India level.
|Chairperson||V. D. Satheesan|
|Headquarters||"Indira Bhavan", Vellayambalam, Thiruvananthapuram District, Kerala|
|Political position||Centre to Centre-right|
|Seats in Lok Sabha|
18 / 20(Kerala)
|Seats in Rajya Sabha|
2 / 9(Kerala)
|Seats in Kerala Legislative Assembly|
41 / 140
United Democratic Front was created by the Indian National Congress (then known as Congress-Indira) party leader K. Karunakaran in 1979, as a successor to the existing Congress-led alliance. The alliance first came to power in 1981 (K. Karunakaran ministry) and has won elections to the state legislature of Kerala in the years 1982 (Karunakaran ministry), 1991 (Karunakaran and A. K. Antony ministries), 2001 (Antony and Oommen Chandy ministries), and 2011 (Oommen Chandy ministry). The alliance currently acts as the opposition in the state legislature of Kerala (after the 2021 legislative assembly election). United Democratic Front leaders V. D. Satheesan and K. Sudhakaran currently serves as the Leader of the Opposition and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President respectively.
The alliance currently consists of Indian National Congress, Indian Union Muslim League, Kerala Congress (Joseph), Kerala Congress (Jacob), Revolutionary Socialist Party and a variety of other smaller parties. The alliance follows big tent policy and includes a variety political parties.
Current members edit
Members of United democratic front edit
|Party||Abbr.||Flag||MPs in Lok Sabha||MPs in Rajya Sabha||MLA in state legislature||Base state|
|1||Indian National Congress||INC||53||31||17||National Party|
|2||Indian Union Muslim League||IUML||03||01||15||Kerala, Tamil Nadu|
|4||Kerala Congress (Jacob)||KEC(J)||00||00||01||Kerala|
|5||Kerala Democratic Party||KDP||00||00||01||Kerala|
|6||Revolutionary Socialist Party||RSP||01||00||00||Kerala, West Bengal, Tripura|
|7||Communist Marxist Party (John)||CMP(J)||00||00||00||Kerala|
|8||Revolutionary Marxist Party of India||RMPI||00||00||01||Kerala, West Bengal, Tripura, Punjab|
|9||National Janata Dal||NJD||00||00||00||Kerala|
|10||Janathipathiya Samrakshana Samithy(National)||JSS(N)||00||00||00||Kerala|
|11||All India Forward Bloc||AIFB||00||00||00|
Precursors to the United Democratic Front were,
- Joint Front (Pattom and Sankar ministries)
- Congress-supported "Mini Front" or "Democratic Front" (Menon ministry)
- Congress-supported "United Front"
- "Mini Front" or "Maxi Front" (Second Menon ministry)
- "Ruling Front" or "Maxi Front Revamped" (Karunakaran, Antony and P. K. V. ministries)
- Indian Union Muslim League - Praja Socialist Party - National Democratic Party alliance (supported by Congress) (Koya ministry)
United Democratic Front (1979 – present) edit
The United Democratic Front (UDF) was formed just before 1980 assembly election. In elections, the Front was defeated by the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front. However, the fall of the first Left Democratic Front ministry resulted in the 6th President's Rule in Kerala (1981).
United Democratic Front first came into power in Kerala in 1981 under K. Karunakaran. It led the Government of Kerala in 1982–87 (K. Karunakaran), 1991–96 (K. Karunakaran and A. K. Antony), 2001–06 (A. K. Antony and Oommen Chandy), and 2011–16 (Oommen Chandy). The alliance currently serves as the opposition in the Kerala Assembly.
- In the 2016 elections conducted to the Kerala state legislature, United Democratic Front managed to win 47 out of 140 seats to the assembly, and Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala was chosen as the Leader of Opposition. In 2019 Indian general election, the alliance won 19 out of 20 seats in the state.
- In the last elections conducted to the Kerala state legislature in 2021, United Democratic Front managed to win 40 out of 140 seats to the assembly, and Congress leader V. D. Satheesan chosen as the Leader of Opposition. The alliance supported K. K. Rema for Vadakara Constituency who sits as a separate block.
Chief Ministers edit
Pre-United Democratic Front Chief Ministers (1956 – 1979) edit
- Pattom Thanu Pillai (1960 - 62)
- R. Sankar (1962 – 64)
- C. Achutha Menon (1970 - 77)
- K. Karunakaran (1977)
- A. K. Antony (1977 – 78)
- P.K. Vasudevan Nair (1978 - 79)
- C.H. Mohammed Koya (1979)
United Democratic Front Chief Ministers (1981 – present) edit
List of United Democratic Front Chief Ministers by length of term edit
|No.||Name (Ministry)||Length of term|
|Longest continuous term||Total years of premiership|
|1||K. Karunakaran (1918 - 2010)||4 years, 305 days
|8 years, 315 days
|2||A. K. Antony (born 1940)||3 years, 74 days
|5 years, 306 days
|3||Oommen Chandy (born 1943)||5 years, 6 days
|6 years, 256 days
Leaders of Opposition (U. D. F) edit
United Democratic Front Conveners edit
|Period||U D F Convener||Political affiliation|
|1980–82||P. J. Joseph||Kerala Congress|
|1982–85||Oommen Chandy||Indian National Congress|
|2004–18||P. P. Thankachan|
|Incumbent||M. M. Hassan|
K. Karunakaran edit
The Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, was established by bifurcating University of Kerala during the period of 3rd Karunakaran ministry (1982 - 87). It was during the second U. D. F. government (Third Karunakaran ministry), that the last two districts of Kerala, namely Pathanamthitta and Kasaragod, were inaugurated, raising the total number of districts in Kerala to fourteen. During his third tenure as Chief Minister (1982–87), Karunakaran directly handled the Scheduled Castes Development. Kerala State Film Development Corporation was also introduced during the tenure of Karunakaran.
Chief Minister Karunakaran was instrumental in several infrastructure projects in Kerala which includes the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, and the Cochin International Airport, both of which were sanctioned during his 1991-95 stint as the Chief Minister. Vallarpadam Terminal, which later became the first transshipment terminal in India was other key project coined during the administration of Karunakaran. Other major infrastructure projects introduced during the terms of Karunakaran include the Goshree Bridges of Kochi, Guruvayur Railway Line, and Rajiv Gandhi Combined Cycle Power Plant at Kayamkulam. The first phase of Kollam Bypass was completed in 1993.
A. K. Antony edit
Antony administration was instrumental in the establishment of Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology at Thiruvananthapuram. The InfoPark at Kochi was established in the year 2004. It was also under his administration that the Kannur University was created by bifurcating the University of Calicut. The University of Sanskrit was inaugurated in 1994. The Indian Institute of Management and the National Institute of Technology at Kozhikode were established in the years 1996 and 2002 respectively.
The Akshaya Project was implemented in 2002 to expand digital literacy in Kerala. During his tenure as Chief Minister, A. K. Antony introduced the Unemployment Allowance, Festival Allowance for the Kerala state employees.
During his tenure as Chief Minister, A. K. Antony introduced the prohibition of arrack in Kerala. It was at Chief Minister Antony's behest that the decision to construct the new Kerala Legislature Complex was taken in 1977. He also ordered the closure of the Kerala Coca-Cola plant in 2004 due to non-availability of drinking water in the plant area.
Oommen Chandy edit
It was also during tenure of Oommen Chandy that 12 new taluks, 28 new municipalities, and Kannur Municipal Corporation were formed. It was the largest taluk delimitation in the state of Kerala after 1957. The Kerala Urban Road Transport Corporation (KURTC) was formed under KSRTC in 2015 to manage affairs related to urban transportation.
The Chandy ministry established new Government Medical Colleges in Kerala (in 2013, after a gap of 31 years). The "Karunya Scheme" was implemented in the year 2011–12 for the free treatment of patients with cancer, haemophilia, kidney, and heart diseases. A number of organ implantation surgeries were done through the "Mruthasanjeevani Project". The Second Chandy ministry had also taken the decision to prohibit liquor in Kerala by discouraging bars. The number of political killings were relatively low (11) during the period 2011–16 in the state.
In 2005, Information Technology was made a compulsory subject for the school-level students. Victers TV, the children's television channel on EDUSAT for schools, was inaugurated in 2005. The National University of Advanced Legal Studies at Kochi was founded in 2005 and the Indian Institute of Technology at Palakkad was established in the year 2015. The universities founded in 2011–16 period include the Malayalam University at Tirur (2012) and Technological University at Thiruvananthapuram (2014). The National Institute of Visual Science and Arts at Kottayam was inaugurated in January 2016. Kerala was declared as the first complete digital state of India on 27 February 2016.
The Kerala Public Service Commission filled the vacant posts during 2011–16. As many as 167,096 job candidates were appointed, setting a record. As many as 46,223 posts were created in the same period. The Phase-3 of the Technopark at Thiruvananthapuram was inaugurated in 2014. The Taurus Downtown at Technopark was commenced during the period 2011–16. The phase-2 of InfoPark, Kochi was inaugurated in May 2015. Phase-2 of InfoPark Thrissur was completed during the same period. The Park Centre of Cybercity at Kozhikode was formally opened by IT Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty on 15 February 2014. UL Cyberpark at Kozhikode was inaugurated in January 2016. Chandy's regime was instrumental in beginning the construction of the Smart City Project.
Chandy received the United Nation's Public Service Award for his Mass Contact Programme ("Jana Samparkka Paripadi"). The government also sanctioned of Unemployment Allowance. Social welfare pension amounts and numbers were doubled during the second Chandy ministry. Old-age pension amounts were also increased. Other social welfare measures during Chandy reign include free ration for those who lost their employment. Free rice was given to those who did not belong to Above Poverty Line (APL). Food kits were distributed to the people during Onam, the Eid, and Christmas.
Chandy government constructed more than 400,000 houses for the homeless people in Kerala.
Chandy's regime was instrumental in beginning the construction of Kannur Airport, the Kochi Metro, and the Vizhinjam Port near Thiruvananthapuram. The Kochi-Mangalore GAIL pipeline was commissioned by the second Chandy ministry in 2013. In 2015, the Cochin Airport became the world's first fully solar powered airport. During his period, 227 road bridges worth nearly Rs 16 billion were built across Kerala.
A number of state highways were constructed under Chandy government and the final decision to widen the national highways of the state to 45 m were taken in 2014. Several "bypass" roads were also constructed.
Kerala Assembly Election results edit
|Election||Alliance leader||Seats won||Change in seats||Outcome|
46 / 140
77 / 140
61 / 140
90 / 140
|1996||A. K. Antony||
59 / 140
99 / 140
42 / 140
72 / 140
47 / 140
41 / 140
Electoral history edit
|Mandate||Seats secured||Ruling coalition||Majority|
List of elected members edit
State legislature edit
Lok Sabha edit
Out of the 20 Lok Sabha (House of the People) constituencies in Kerala, 19 were won by the United Democratic Front in 2019 Lok Sabha election (including Thomas Chazhikadan, Kerala Congress Mani from Kottayam). Later when the Kerala Congress Mani crossed floors to join Left Democratic Front (2020), the number of M. P.s reduced to 18.
The following is the list of United Democratic Front Lok Sabha members from the state of Kerala:
|No.||Parliamentary Constituency||Member (M. P.)||Party Affiliation|
|5||Kozhikode||M. K. Raghavan||INC|
|6||Malappuram||M.P. Abdussamad Samadani||IUML|
|7||Ponnani||E. T. Muhammed Basheer||IUML|
|8||Palakkad||V. K. Sreekandan||INC|
|10||Thrissur||T. N. Prathapan||INC|
|15||Pathanamthitta||Anto Antony Punnathaniyil||INC|
|16||Kollam||N. K. Premachandran||RSP|
Rajya Sabha edit
The following is the list of United Democratic Front Rajya Sabha members from the state of Kerala:
|No.||State||Member (M. P.)||Party Affiliation|
|2||P. V. Abdul Wahab||IUML|
See also edit
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The BJP's primary rival, the centrist Indian National Congress (Congress), won only 52 seats.
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Further reading edit
- Chief Ministers, Ministers, and Leaders of Opposition of Kerala (PDF), Thiruvananthapuram: Secratriat of Kerala Legislature, 2018