|Lok Sabha leader||Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury|
|Rajya Sabha leader||Ghulam Nabi Azad|
(Leader of the Opposition)
|Political position||majority Centre-left|
|No. of members||12 Parties|
|Seats in Lok Sabha|
|Seats in Rajya Sabha|
|Number of states and union territories in government|
United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is a coalition of left and centre-left political parties in India formed after the 2004 general election. 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 elected representatives of the UPA were accused in various scams and scandals.
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 (see: Cash-for-votes scandal) in which they were accused for buying votes in Lok Sabha to save the government. In the Indian General Election in 2009, the UPA won 262 seats, of which the INC accounted for 206.
Currently, the parties in and supporting the UPA are:
|Party||MPs in Lok Sabha||MPs in Rajya Sabha||Base State|
|1||Indian National Congress||52||46||National Party|
|2||Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||24||5||Tamil Nadu|
|3||Nationalist Congress Party||5||4||National Party|
|5||Indian Union Muslim League||3||1||Kerala|
|6||Jammu & Kashmir National Conference||3||0||Jammu and Kashmir|
|7||Jharkhand Mukti Morcha||1||0||Jharkhand|
|8||Kerala Congress (M)||1||1||Kerala|
|9||Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||0||1||Tamil Nadu|
|10||Revolutionary Socialist Party||1||0||Kerala|
|11||Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi||1||0||Tamil Nadu|
|12||All India United Democratic Front||1||0||Assam|
|S.No||State/UT||Chief Minister||Party/alliance partner||Seats in Assembly||
|1||Puducherry||V. Narayanasamy||INC||15||6 June 2016||DMK (3)||1||19/33||16 May 2016|
|2||Punjab||Amarinder Singh||INC||80||16 March 2017||80/117||4 February 2017|
|3||Chhattisgarh||Bhupesh Baghel||INC||69||17 December 2018||69/90||11 December 2018|
|4||Rajasthan||Ashok Gehlot||INC||120||17 December 2018||BTP (2)||RLD (1)||123/200||11 December 2018|
|5||Madhya Pradesh||Kamal Nath||INC||114||17 December 2018||BSP (2)||SP (1)||4||11 December 2018|
|6||Maharashtra||Uddhav Thackeray||SS||56||28 November 2019||NCP (54)||INC (44)||BVA (3)||PJP (2),
|5||170/288||21 October 2019|
|7||Jharkhand||Hemant Soren||JMM||30||28 December 2019||INC (16)||RJD (1)||JVM(P)
|54/81||23 December 2019|
|S.No||State/UT||Seats in Assembly||Seats- Congress||Seats- UPA Partners||Government||Ref(s)|
|4||Bihar||243||26||RJD (81), HAM (1)||NDA|||
|7||Gujarat||182||72||BTP (2), IND (1)||BJP|||
|10||81||16||JMM (30), RJD (1), NCP (1), CPI(ML) (1)||UPA|||
|12||140||21||IUML (18), KC(M) (5), KC(J) (1)||LDF|||
|14||288||44||SS (56), NCP (54), BVA (3), PJP (2), SP (2), KSP (1), PWP (1), SSS (1), IND (5)||MVA|||
|21||200||120||BTP (2), RLD (1)||INC|||
|23||234||7||DMK (100), IUML (1),||AIADMK|||
|-||Total||4120||874||436||UPA states- 07|
|Party||Base State||Withdrawal 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|
|Communist Party of India (Marxist)||National Party||2008||Due to Indo-US nuclear deal.|
|Communist Party of India||National Party||2008||Due to Indo-US nuclear deal|
|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.|
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Election Year||Prime Minister Candidate||Parties|
|1977||Indira Gandhi||Indian National Congress (Indira)|
|1980||Indira Gandhi||Indian National Congress (Indira)|
|1984||Rajiv Gandhi||Indian National Congress|
|1991||P. V. Narasimha Rao||INC|
|1998||None||Indian National Congress|
|1999||None||Indian National Congress (Indira)|
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.
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.