United Progressive Alliance
|Lok Sabha leader||Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury|
|Rajya Sabha leader||Mallikarjun Kharge (Leader of the Opposition)|
|Political position||Centre-left to left-wing|
|Seats in Lok Sabha|
90 / 543
|Seats in Rajya Sabha|
54 / 245
|Number of states and union territories in government|
6 / 31
United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is a big tent centre-left political alliance of predominantly left-leaning political parties in India formed after the 2004 general election. The largest member party of the UPA is the Indian National Congress (INC), whose president Sonia Gandhi is chairperson of the UPA. It formed a government with support from some other left-aligned parties in 2004 after no single party could get the majority on its own.
2004–2008: Formation and rise
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 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. 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. Hence, government policies were generally perceived as centre-left, reflecting the centrist policies of the INC.
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. The Congress party and its leaders along with then SP leader Amar Singh were accused for cash for vote scam as part of the cash-for-votes scandal, in which they were accused for buying votes in Lok Sabha to save the government. During UPA I the economy saw steady economic growth and there was a drastic reduction in poverty.
In the Indian General Election in 2009, the UPA won 262 seats, of which the INC accounted for 206. During the governance of UPA II, the alliance was broiled in number of scams. This ranged from 2G spectrum to CoalGate Scam. These scams impacted UPA image nationwide and the approval rating for the govt continued to fall. In addition many member from YSRCP. This started a domino effect with member leaving to form their own parties or parties like DMK leaving the alliance all-together. During this time UPA struggled with state election and leadership stability. Then in the run-up to the 2014 Indian election UPA appointed Rahul Gandhi as the PM candidate. The alliance had a humiliating defeat as it failed to only 60 seats a huge reduction from 262. In addition UPA only managed to win 1 state election and got wiped out from AP to 0 where they previously had 150+ MLA.
2015–2019: Slump, rise back, and repeat
The UPA horror after the 2014 Indian general election continued. From 2014 to 2017, they only won 3 state election during this period and it mostly included states they had a high amount of presence in. This was blamed to the alliance failed leadership and weakness of the alliance compared to the NDA. In addition the part lost power in states in which they won state election like Bihar. And in 2017 alliance lost the 2017 Indian presidential election. However all changed in 2018. UPA had a phenomenal comeback in the state election as the party had won important and crucial state election like Karnataka, Rajasthan and others. It was able to have more parties join the alliance and it was stronger than ever.
However that changed it 2019 Indian general election when UPA only managed to win 91 seats in the general election and failed to secure the opposition post too. This was another set back to the alliance as they hoped to continue their 2018 form. In addition the alliance lost another state to BJP with the party winning by-polls and pushing the UPA into minority and forming the govt. But towards to the end 2019 it changed as the alliance was able to make a strong comeback. The alliance made huge gains in Haryana won in Jharkhand and formed a sub alliance called Maha Vikas Aghadi to form the government in Maharashtra.
Since 2020, it was able to make more parties join the alliance and it had strengthened the alliance. The alliance lost the crucial Bihar election which everyone expected it to win. In addition UPA only won 1 out of the 5 state election in 2021. However the alliance was able to make significant gain in number of MLA.
|Party||MPs in Lok Sabha||MPs in Rajya Sabha||MLA in state legislature||Base state|
|1||Indian National Congress||52||34||766||National Party|
|2||Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||24||5||139||Tamil Nadu|
|3||Nationalist Congress Party||5||4||59||National Party|
|4||Rashtriya Janata Dal||0||4||76||Bihar|
|5||Indian Union Muslim League||3||1||15||Kerala|
|6||Jammu & Kashmir National Conference||3||0||0||Jammu and Kashmir|
|7||Jharkhand Mukti Morcha||1||0||30||Jharkhand|
|8||Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||0||1||0||Tamil Nadu|
|9||Revolutionary Socialist Party||1||0||0||Kerala|
|10||Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi||1||0||4||Tamil Nadu|
|11||Goa Forward Party||0||0||3||Goa|
|12||Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi||0||0||3||Maharashtra|
|13||Prahar Janshakti Party||0||0||2||Maharashtra|
|15||Peasants and Workers Party of India||0||0||1||Maharashtra|
As of May 2021, the UPA has chief ministers in six states.
List of state governments
|S.No||State/UT||Government||Chief minister||Party/alliance partner||Seats in assembly||Last election|
|1||Punjab||16 March 2017||Charanjit Singh Channi||INC||80||20 September 2021||None||80/117||4 February 2017|
|2||Chhattisgarh||17 December 2018||Bhupesh Baghel||INC||70||17 December 2018||None||70/90||11 December 2018|
|3||Rajasthan||17 December 2018||Ashok Gehlot||INC||107||17 December 2018||RLD (1)||None||12||120/200||11 December 2018|
|4||Maharashtra||28 November 2019||Uddhav Thackeray||SS||57||28 November 2019||NCP (53)||INC (43)||BVA (3)||SP (2), PJP (2), SWP (1), PWPI (1)||8||170/288||21 October 2019|
|5||Jharkhand||28 December 2019||Hemant Soren||JMM||30||28 December 2019||INC (18)||RJD (1)||NCP (1)||CPI(M-L) (1)||None||51/81||23 December 2019|
|6||Tamil Nadu||7 May 2021||M.K Stalin||DMK||133||7 May 2021||INC (18)||VCK (4)||CPI (2)||CPI (M) (2)||None||159/234||6 April 2021|
Strength in legislative assemblies
|State/UT||MLA seats||INC||UPA||Overall seats||Chief minister party||Ref(s)|
0 / 175
4 / 60
28 / 126
110 / 243
70 / 90
11 / 40
66 / 182
31 / 90
19 / 68
51 / 81
68 / 224
41 / 140
95 / 230
170 / 288
16 / 60
17 / 60
5 / 40
0 / 60
10 / 147
80 / 117
120 / 200
0 / 32
|Tamil Nadu||234||18||DMK (133)||
159 / 234
6 / 119
0 / 60
7 / 403
12 / 70
0 / 294
0 / 70
|Jammu and Kashmir||90||NA|||
8 / 33
1,219 / 4,036
UPA runs a few Sub-Alliance in an effort to connect to more parties. The goal of the sub-alliance is to get parties which do not want to be in the UPA national level but only in state level :-
- Secular Progressive Alliance (Tamil Nadu)
- Maha Vikas Aghadi (Maharashtra)
- Mahagthbandhan (Bihar)
- Secular Progressive Front (Manipur)
- United Democratic Front (Kerala)
- Sanjukta Morcha (West Bengal)
|Party||State||Date||Reason for withdrawal|
|Telangana Rashtra Samithi||Telangana||2006||Differences over proposed statehood for Telangana|
|Bahujan Samaj Party||National Party||2008||Congress opposed the UP government where the BSP was the ruling party|
|Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party||Jammu and Kashmir||2009||Congress decided to support National Conference Government in Jammu and Kashmir|
|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|
|All India Trinamool Congress||National Party||2012||TMC's demands on rollbacks and reforms not met, including the governments decision to allow FDI in retail|
|Socialist Janata (Democratic)||Kerala||2014||It merged with Janata Dal (United) on 29 December 2014.|
|Rashtriya Lok Dal||Uttar Pradesh||2014||Decided to leave after 2014 election performance.|
|Janata Dal (Secular)||Karnataka||2019||After JD(S)-INC alliance govt fell in Karnataka, two parties decided to end alliance.|
|Rashtriya Lok Samta Party||Bihar||2020||Withdrawn support before Bihar Assembly Election 2020 & Allied with BSP+ on 29 September 2020.|
|Vikassheel Insaan Party||Bihar||2020||Withdrawn support before Bihar Assembly Election 2020 & Allied with NDA|
|Hindustani Awam Morcha||Bihar||2020||Withdrawn support before Bihar Assembly Election 2020 & Allied with NDA|
|Kerala Congress (M)||Kerala||2020||Decided to join LDF|
|Bodoland People's Front||Assam||2021||Withdrew due to performance in 2021 Assam election.|
|All India United Democratic Front||Assam||2021||Party was expelled from the alliance.|
List of prime ministers
|No.||Prime ministers||Portrait||Term in office||Lok Sabha||Government||Cabinet||Constituency|
|1||Manmohan Singh||22 May 2004||22 May 2009||10 years, 4 days||14th||UPA I||Manmohan Singh I||Rajya Sabha MP From Assam|
|22 May 2009||26 May 2014||15th||UPA II||Manmohan Singh II|
List of chief ministers
|1.||Chhattisgarh||Bhupesh Baghel||Baghel I|
|2.||Jharkhand||Hemant Soren||Soren II|
|3.||Maharashtra||Uddhav Thackeray||Thackeray I|
|5.||Rajasthan||Ashok Gehlot||Gehlot III|
|6.||Tamil Nadu||M. K. Stalin||Stalin I|
List of deputy chief ministers
|1.||Maharashtra||Ajit Pawar||Thackeray I|
List of party candidates by election
- UPA had its worst performance to date in the 2014 general election and ended up losing the power
- The JKNC left the alliance due to INC deciding to contest in all the seats by itself.
- The Socialist Janata (Democratic) had left the alliance after it had merged with Janata Dal (United)
- UPA lost state election in Telangana, Odisha, Sikkim, J&K, Jharkhand, AP, Maharashtra, Haryana
- UPA managed to win 1 state election and that was in Arunachal Pradesh
- UPA won state elections in Puducherry
- UPA lost state elections in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam, Kerala
- Janata Dal (United) quit the Mahagathbandhan alliance formed by UPA for Bihar and joined NDA giving Bihar power from UPA to NDA
- UPA won in state election of Punjab
- UPA lost in state election of Utter Pradesh, Manipur, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Gujarat
- In addition UPA lost the presidential election to NDA's Ram Nath Kovind
- MDMK (state party in TN) left NDA and joined UPA
- VCK (State party in TN) joined UPA after leaving in 2014
- In 2018 Janata Dal (Secular) joined UPA to help form Karnataka govt
- UPA lost election in state election of Telangana, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura
- UPA won in the state elections of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka
- RJD ( state party in Bihar) joined UPA
- UPA created a sub-alliance called "Maha Kutami" with TDP,TJS,CPI for the Telangana election however the alliance lost and was ended after the election.
- Telangana Jana Samithi (party in Telangana) joined UPA
- UPA lost in the 2019 Indian general election to NDA
- UPA lost state elections in AP, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim, Haryana
- UPA won in state election in Jharkhand, Maharashtra
- In 2019 UPA lost power in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka after the by-polls gave majority to opposition and pushed UPA to minority.
- Janata Dal (Secular) left the alliance after the fall of Karnataka govt.
- AIUDF joined UPA after UPA invited as it was against the implementation of CAA-NRC, and JKNC joined UPA back at national level after a break-up in 2014.
- UPA lost state election in Delhi, Bihar
- The KC(M) was expelled by INC from the alliance due to the factions forming in the party.
- 3 MLA have resigned from UPA in Puducherry causing the government to go from majority to minority, and during the no trust confidence UPA fail to prove majority causing the govt to fall.
- BPF (left NDA) and joined the alliance ahead of the 2021 Assam election.
- UPA lost state election in Assam, Kerala, Puducherry and West Bengal
- UPA won state election in Tamil Nadu
- GFP or Goa Forward Party had joined UPA
- UPA cut all ties with ISF (Indian Secular Front) after defeat in West Bengal elections.
- Bodoland People's Front had left the alliance due to poor performance in the 2021 Assam elections.
- AIUDF was expelled from UPA.
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.
Karunanidhi had said he felt "let down" by the "lukewarm" response of the Centre and had demanded amendments in the resolution on Sri Lanka.
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.
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.
- "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". electionaffairs.com. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012.
- Small parties, independents in great demand Archived 28 May 2009 at WebCite.
- Originally the SP had 39 MPs Archived 31 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine. 6 MPs defied party whip and have been expelled from the party.
- Lok Sabha members Archived 31 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- "Congress pins hopes on Jyoti Basu". The Times of India.[dead link]
- Madhu Koda to be next Jharkhand CM Archived 3 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
- "Indian government survives vote". BBC News. 22 July 2008. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- "Cash-for-votes scam: The deadly secrets of sting Singh : Cover Story - India Today". intoday.in. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- "Cash For Vote Scam - Amar Singh - Supreme Court - Sudheendra Kulkarni - Swamajwadi Party - BJP". oneindia.com. Archived from the original on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- "Cash-for-vote scam 2008: Court orders further probe". indianexpress.com. Archived from the original on 9 January 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly
- Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly
- Assam Legislative Assembly
- Bihar Legislative Assembly
- Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly
- Goa Legislative Assembly
- Gujarat Legislative Assembly
- Haryana Legislative Assembly
- Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly
- Jharkhand Legislative Assembly
- Karnataka Legislative Assembly
- Kerala Legislature
- Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly
- Maharashtra Legislative Assembly
- Manipur Legislative Assembly
- Meghalaya Legislative Assembly
- Mizoram Legislative Assembly
- Nagaland Legislative Assembly
- Odisha Legislative Assembly
- Punjab Legislative Assembly
- Rajasthan Legislative Assembly
- Sikkim Legislative Assembly
- Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly
- Telangana Legislative Assembly
- Tripura Legislative Assembly
- Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly
- Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly
- West Bengal Legislative Assembly
- Delhi Legislative Assembly
- Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly
- Puducherry Legislative Assembly
- Political Bureau. "Left joins BJP to sing chorus against UPA". The Financial Express. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2008.
- "DMK pulls out of UPA govt over Sri Lanka Tamils issue – The Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 29 May 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- "CAG raps Haryana govt. for showing undue favours to Robert vadra". The Economic Times. Archived from the original on 9 January 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
- Common Minimum Programme of the UPA.
- Arora, Balveer and Tawa Lama Rewal, Stéphanie. "Introduction: Contextualizing and Interpreting the 15th Lok Sabha Elections". South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, 3, 2009