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United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is a coalition of left and centre-left political parties in India formed after the 2004 general election.[3] The largest member party of the UPA is the INC, whose National President Sonia Gandhi is chairperson of the UPA. It formed a government with support from some other left-aligned parties in 2004. However the UPA lost major popularity in the 2014 General Elections after many members of the UPA (especially Indian National Congress) were accused or convicted for various Scams and Scandals.

United Progressive Alliance
ChairpersonSonia Gandhi[1]
Lok Sabha leaderAdhir Ranjan Chowdhury [2]
Rajya Sabha leaderGhulam Nabi Azad
(Leader of the Opposition)
FounderIndian National Congress
Political positionCentre-left
No. of members16 Parties
Seats in Lok Sabha
91 / 545
Seats in Rajya Sabha
66 / 245
Number of states and union territories in government
5 / 31


The UPA was formed soon after the 2004 general elections when it had become clear that no party had won an absolute majority. The hitherto ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had won 181 seats[4] in the 543-member 14th Lok Sabha, as opposed to the UPA's tally of 218 seats.

The Left Front with 59 MPs (excluding the speaker of the Lok Sabha), the Samajwadi Party with 39 MPs and the Bahujan Samaj Party with 19 MPs were other significant blocks that opted to support UPA at various phases of its rule.[5][6] The UPA did not enjoy a simple majority on its own in the parliament, rather it has relied on the external support to ensure that it enjoys the confidence of the Indian parliament similar to the formula adopted by the previous minority governments of the United Front, the NDA, the Congress government of P. V. Narasimha Rao, and earlier governments of V. P. Singh and Chandra Shekhar.

An informal alliance had existed prior to the elections as several of the current constituent parties had developed seat-sharing agreements in many states. However, it was only after the election that the results of negotiations between parties were announced. The UPA government's policies were initially guided by a common minimum programme that the alliance hammered out with fruitful consultations with Jyoti Basu and Harkishan Singh Surjeet of the 59-member Left Front.[7] Hence, government policies were generally perceived as centre-left, reflecting the centrist policies of the INC.

During the tenure of Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, the constituents of the UPA were, by mutual consent, supporting his government.[8]

On 22 July 2008, the UPA narrowly survived a vote of confidence in the parliament brought on by the Left Front withdrawing their support in protest at the India–United States Civil Nuclear Agreement.[9] The Congress party and its leaders along with then SP leader Amar Singh were accused for cash for vote scam (see: Cash-for-votes scandal) in which they were accused for buying votes in Lok Sabha to save the government.[10][11][12] In the Indian General Election in 2009, the UPA won 262 seats, of which the INC accounted for 206.

Current membershipEdit

UPA presence in various statesEdit

Current ruling parties in India
  Coalition with BJP
  Coalition with INC
  Other parties

As of December 2018, UPA is in power in 4 states and in 1 union territory -Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Puducherry respectively. Previously, UPA governed states are Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya and Maharashtra.

List of current INC and UPA governmentsEdit

State/UT Chief Minister Party/alliance partner CM since Seats in Assembly Last election
Puducherry V. Narayanasamy INC(15), DMK(3) 6 June 2016 18/30 16 May 2016
Punjab Amarinder Singh INC(78) 16 March 2017 78/117 4 February 2017
Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel INC(68) 17 December 2018 68/90 11 December 2018
Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot INC(112), BSP(6) 17 December 2018 121/200 11 December 2018
Madhya Pradesh Kamal Nath INC(118) 17 December 2018 121/230 11 December 2018

Congress Strength in State Legislative AssembliesEdit

State/UT Seats in Assembly Seats- Congress Seats- UPA Partners Government Ref(s)
Andhra Pradesh 175 0 NA YSRCP [13]
Arunachal Pradesh 60 4 NA BJP [14]
Assam 126 25 NA BJP [15]
Bihar 243 27 RJD (79) NDA [16]
Chhattisgarh 90 68 NA INC [17]
Goa 40 15 NCP (1) BJP [18]
Gujarat 182 70 BTP (2), IND (1) BJP [19]
Haryana 90 17 NA BJP [20]
Himachal Pradesh 68 21 NA BJP [21]
Jammu and Kashmir 87 12 NA President's rule [22]
Jharkhand 81 09 JMM (19), JVM(P) (2) BJP [23]
Karnataka 224 65 JD(S) (34) BJP [24]
Kerala 140 22 IUML (18), KC(M) (6), KC(J) (1) LDF [25]
Madhya Pradesh 230 118 BSP (02), SP (01) INC [26]
Maharashtra 288 42 NCP (41) NDA(BJP & SS) [27]
Manipur 60 19 NA BJP [28]
Meghalaya 60 20 NA NDA [29]
Mizoram 40 05 NA MNF [30]
Nagaland 60 0 NA NDA [31]
Odisha 147 09 NA BJD [32]
Punjab 117 78 NA Congress [33]
Rajasthan 200 112 BSP (6), CPI(M) (02), BTP (2), RLD (1) INC [34]
Sikkim 32 0 NA NDA [35]
Tamil Nadu 234 7 DMK (101), IUML (1), IND (1) AIADMK [36]
Telangana 119 9 NA TRS [37]
Tripura 60 0 NA BJP [38]
Uttar Pradesh 403 07 NA BJP [39]
Uttarakhand 70 11 NA BJP [40]
West Bengal 294 43 CPI(M) (25), CPI (1) AITC [41]
Delhi 70 0 NA AAP [42]
Puducherry 30 15 DMK (3) Congress [43]
Total 4120 864 354 UPA States - 06

Past membersEdit

Party Base State Withdrawal Date Reason for Withdrawal
Telangana Rashtra Samithi Telangana 2006 Differences over proposed statehood for Telangana[44]
Bahujan Samaj Party National Party 2008 Congress opposed the UP government where the BSP was the ruling party
Communist Party of India (Marxist) National Party 2008 Due to Indo-US nuclear deal.[45]
Communist Party of India National Party 2008 Due to Indo-US nuclear deal[45]
Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party Jammu and Kashmir 2009 Congress decided to support National Conference Government in Jammu and Kashmir[46]
Pattali Makkal Katchi Tamil Nadu 2009 PMK declared that it would join the AIADMK led front
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen Telangana 2012 Accused Congress led State Government of Communalism[47][48]
All India Trinamool Congress West Bengal 2012 TMC's demands on rollbacks and reforms not met, including the governments decision to allow FDI in retail[49][50]
Socialist Janata (Democratic) Kerala 2014 It merged with Janata Dal (United) on 29 December 2014.[51][52]

Initial supportEdit

Initially, UPA was given external support from the Left Front which totalled 59 MPs. Similar external support was also promised by several smaller parties that were not a member of any coalition, including the Samajwadi Party with 39 MPs, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party with 4 MPs, the Janata Dal (Secular) with 3 MPs, and Bahujan Samaj Party with 19 MPs, who promised to support the government if it faced a vote of confidence. Nevertheless, these parties were not a part of the government. The UPA thus had at least 335 MPs out of 543 supporting it at the time of its formation.

The Left parties, despite ideological differences with the Congress, supported the UPA to ensure a secular government.[53]


Telangana Rashtra SamithiEdit

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) was the first party to quit the alliance, first when its ministers quit the Andhra Pradesh government, and finally when an official withdrawal was done at the national level by its president K. Chandrashekar Rao, who resigned his Lok Sabha seat.[54]

Bahujan Samaj PartyEdit

On 21 June 2008, the Bahujan Samaj Party, or the BSP, with 18 seats, announced withdrawal of its support after the Congress starting opposing the UP government where the BSP was the ruling party. Their leader Mayawati said that she wouldn't enter an electoral alliance with either the Congress or the BJP. She also accused both parties of misusing the Central Bureau of Investigation or the CBI and attempting to implicate her in the Taj Corridor Case. She also accused Congress of making false promises to help the people of Bundelkhand and Poorvanchal regions as they were suffering from drought.

Left FrontEdit

On 8 July 2008, Prakash Karat, the general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI (M)), announced that the Left Front would be withdrawing support over the decision by the government to go ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal, a Section 123 Agreement with the United States.[45]

Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic PartyEdit

On 4 January 2009, Mehbooba Mufti, president of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party announced the withdrawal of the PDP from the UPA given that the Congress had decided to support the Omar Abdullah-led National Conference Government in Jammu & Kashmir after the 2008 state elections.[55]

Pattali Makkal KatchiEdit

On 26 March 2009, PMK declared that it would join the AIADMK led front and withdrew from the UPA and the party president declared that two union ministers of his party will resign shortly.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul MuslimeenEdit

On 12 November 2012, Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi, leader of the AIMIM announced the decision of the party's executive and declared that his party would now go after the state government for its "communal" and "anti-people" policies. Addressing a news conference, Owaisi said his party was compelled to take the decision due to "the communal behaviour of Kiran Kumar Reddy's government in Andhra Pradesh". Giving a detailed account of communal riots in the state and Hyderabad since 2010, he alleged that the Congress government not only turned a blind eye to MIM's demands to withdraw cases against innocent Muslims and take action against the guilty but pandered to the Sangh Parivar. The MIM's decision came after the government allegedly allowed construction of a canopy over a temple abutting the historic Charminar in alleged violation of court orders to maintain status quo. Owaisi criticised the chief minister for ignoring the high court order to maintain status quo.[47][48]

Trinamool CongressEdit

On 18 September 2012, AITC Chief, Mamata Banerjee, announced her decision to withdraw support to the UPA after the AITC's demands of rollback of reforms including FDI in retail, increase in the price of diesel and limiting the number of subsidised cooking gas cylinders for households, were not met.[49][50]

List of UPA Candidates Election wiseEdit

Past general election alliances of Congress (before 2004)Edit


During the discussion for the vote of confidence,[which?][when?] BJP MPs produced cash in the parliament, as viewed on Lok Sabha TV, alleging a bribe by the Samajwadi Party to vote for the government. The BJP claimed to have documentary evidence in a "cash for vote" scam and submitted a report before the parliamentary committee probing the matter.[citation needed] The BJP also wrote a 17-page letter to the Parliamentary committee headed by Congress member V Kishore Chandradeo in this regard. Arun Jaitley said Samajwadi MP Reoti Raman Singh had offered his party's MPs the cash on the night of 21 July.[citation needed] He also alleged that SP leader Amar Singh was behind the entire episode. Jaitley said: "The investigating agencies did not do their job. So we inquired into the matter and gathered documentary evidence in the case." He alleged the 'cash for vote' scam reflected the subversion of the Indian Parliament, as well as a section of the media.[56]

The winter session of parliament in October 2008 came under intense criticism from the Left parties and the BJP to demand a full-fledged winter session instead of what was seen as the UPA to having "scuttled the voice of Parliament" by bringing down the sittings to a record low of 30 days in the year. The tensions between the UPA and the opposition parties became evident at an all-party meeting convened by Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee when the leader of opposition, LK Advani questioned the status, timing and schedule of the current session of parliament.[57]

Karunanidhi had said he felt "let down" by the "lukewarm" response of the Centre and had demanded amendments in the resolution on Sri Lanka.[citation needed]

One of the amendments was to "declare that genocide and war crimes had been committed and inflicted on the Eelam Tamils by the Sri Lankan Army and the administrators".

The second one was "establishment of a credible and independent international commission of investigation in a time-bound manner into the allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law and crime of genocide against the Tamils". Karunanidhi said Parliament should adopt the resolution incorporating these two amendments.[58]

The UPA has also been criticised for its alleged involvement in a number of scams such as the Commonwealth Games Scam of 2010, the 2G spectrum case, and the Coalgate scam. Apart from the above-mentioned scams, the UPA has been under intense fire for the alleged doles handed out to the son-in-law of the Gandhi family, Robert Vadra, by different state governments run by the UPA.[59]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "No decision yet on Sonia Gandhi continuing as UPA chairperson: Veerappa Moily". The Times of India. 26 December 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  2. ^ "After Rahul Gandhi refuses, Congress names Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury as its leader in Lok Sabha: Reports". Times Now. 18 June 2019. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  3. ^ "United Progressive Alliance, UPA, UPA Performance General Election 2009, UPA Tally, UPA in Lok Sabha Elections 2009, India Elections 2009, General Elections, Election Manifesto, India Election News, India Elections Results, Indian Election Schedule, 15th Lok Sabha Elections, General Elections 2009, State Assembly Elections, State Assembly Elections Schedule, State Assembly Election Results". Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ Small parties, independents in great demand.
  5. ^ Originally the SP had 39 MPs. 6 MPs defied party whip and have been expelled from the party. Archived 26 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Lok Sabha members Archived 31 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Congress pins hopes on Jyoti Basu". The Times of India.[dead link]
  8. ^ Madhu Koda to be next Jharkhand CM. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
  9. ^ "Indian government survives vote". BBC News. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Cash-for-votes scam: The deadly secrets of sting Singh : Cover Story - India Today".
  11. ^ "Cash For Vote Scam - Amar Singh - Supreme Court - Sudheendra Kulkarni - Swamajwadi Party - BJP".
  12. ^ "Cash-for-vote scam 2008: Court orders further probe".
  13. ^ Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly
  14. ^ Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly
  15. ^ Assam Legislative Assembly
  16. ^ Bihar Legislative Assembly
  17. ^ Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly
  18. ^ Goa Legislative Assembly
  19. ^ Gujarat Legislative Assembly
  20. ^ Haryana Legislative Assembly
  21. ^ Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly
  22. ^ Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly
  23. ^ Jharkhand Legislative Assembly
  24. ^ Karnataka Legislative Assembly
  25. ^ Kerala Legislature
  26. ^ Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly
  27. ^ Maharashtra Legislative Assembly
  28. ^ Manipur Legislative Assembly
  29. ^ Meghalaya Legislative Assembly
  30. ^ Mizoram Legislative Assembly
  31. ^ Nagaland Legislative Assembly
  32. ^ Odisha Legislative Assembly
  33. ^ Punjab Legislative Assembly
  34. ^ Rajasthan Legislative Assembly
  35. ^ Sikkim Legislative Assembly
  36. ^ Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly
  37. ^ Telangana Legislative Assembly
  38. ^ Tripura Legislative Assembly
  39. ^ Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly
  40. ^ Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly
  41. ^ West Bengal Legislative Assembly
  42. ^ Delhi Legislative Assembly
  43. ^ Puducherry Legislative Assembly
  44. ^ TRS withdraws support to the UPA.
  45. ^ a b c "Left pulls out, will meet President Patil on Wednesday". Archived from the original on 12 October 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  46. ^ PDP withdraws from UPA, The Indian Express. 5 January 2009
  47. ^ a b "Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen withdraws support to Andhra Pradesh government and UPA". The Times of India. 13 November 2012.
  48. ^ a b "MIM withdraws support to UPA, Congress in Andhra Pradesh". dna.
  49. ^ a b "Rupee falls after TMC pulls out from government". Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  50. ^ a b "Mamata's party ready to meet President tomorrow to officially quit UPA". NDTV. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  51. ^ "Nitish Kumar hails SJD's merger with JD-U in Kerala". India Today.
  52. ^ "SJD Merges with Sharad Yadav's Janata Dal (United)". The New Indian Express.
  53. ^ "Secular govt a priority: Basu." Rediff Election Bureau 13 May 2004.
  54. ^ TRS withdraws support to the UPA. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
  55. ^ PDP withdraws from UPA, The Indian Express. 5 January 2009
  56. ^ "We have documentary proof of 'cash for vote' scam: BJP". Express India. Archived from the original on 7 August 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  57. ^ Political Bureau. "Left joins BJP to sing chorus against UPA". The Financial Express.
  58. ^ "DMK pulls out of UPA govt over Sri Lanka Tamils issue – The Times of India". The Times of India.
  59. ^ "CAG raps Haryana govt. for showing undue favours to Robert vadra". The Economic Times.

External linksEdit