United Front (India)
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|Chairperson||N. Chandrababu Naidu|
|Split from||National Front|
|Headquarters||Andhra Pradesh Bhavan, New Delhi|
The United Front was a coalition government of 13 political parties formed in India after the 1996 general elections. The coalition formed two governments in India between 1996 and 1998. The government was headed by two Prime Ministers from Janata Dal – H. D. Deve Gowda, and I. K. Gujral. N. Chandrababu Naidu of the Telugu Desam Party served as the convener of United Front. Headquartered at the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan at New Delhi.
The Indian general election in 1996 returned a fractured verdict. With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerging as the largest party, with 161 of 543 seats, it was invited first to form a government. It accepted the offer, and Atal Bihari Vajpayee was sworn in as prime minister. However, he was unable to muster a majority on the floor of the house, and the government fell 13 days later. At a meeting of all the other parties, the Indian National Congress, with a substantial 140 seats, declined to head the government and agreed to extend outside support to the coalition. Whereas Communist Party of India (Marxist), agreed to join the coalition with the Janata Dal at its head, named the "United Front". Other members of the front included the Samajwadi Party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Asom Gana Parishad, Tamil Maanila Congress, Communist Party of India and Telugu Desam Party.
With the approval of the Congress and CPI(M), the sitting Chief Minister of Karnataka, H. D. Deve Gowda, was asked to head the coalition as Prime Minister after V. P. Singh and Jyoti Basu declined. His term was from June 1, 1996 – April 21, 1997. The Congress revoked its support to Gowda amidst discontent over communication between the coalition and the Congress. It compromised to support a new government under I. K. Gujral, who was Prime Minister from April 21, 1997 – March 19, 1998. Following the collapse of his government, fresh elections were called, and the United Front lost power. Later with the exit of N. Chandrababu Naidu as the convener of UF to extend outside support to NDA, United Front collapsed.
|Year||Legislature||Coalition leader||Seats won||Change in seats||Percentage
|1996||11th Lok Sabha||N. Chandrababu Naidu||
305 / 543
|1998||12th Lok Sabha||
88 / 543
List of prime ministers
|No.||Portrait||Name||Term in office||Lok Sabha||Cabinet||Constituency||Party|
|1||H. D. Deve Gowda||1 June 1996||21 April 1997||324 days||11th||Deve Gowda||Rajya Sabha
|2||Inder Kumar Gujral||21 April 1997||19 March 1998||332 days||Gujral||Rajya Sabha|
|Asom Gana Parishad||5||0||5|
|Communist Party of India||12||9||3|
|Communist Party of India (Marxist)||32||32|
|Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||17||6||11|
|Tamil Maanila Congress||20||3||17|
|Telugu Desam Party||16||12||4|
|Indian National Congress||140|
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- ^ Election Commission 1996. sfn error: no target: CITEREFElection_Commission1996 (help)
- ^ Election Commission 1998. sfn error: no target: CITEREFElection_Commission1998 (help)