United Progressive Alliance


United Progressive Alliance
The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is a coalition of center-left political parties in India, formed after the 2004 general election.[1] The single largest party (in terms of number of seats in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the India's parliament) in the UPA is the Indian National Congress, whose president Sonia Gandhi is also the chairperson of the UPA. Subsequently the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, and the Council of Ministers are drawn from members of the UPA.

The UPA 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 169 seats[2] in the 543-member 14th Lok Sabha, as opposed the UPA's tally of 222 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.[3][4] 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.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. 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.[5] Hence, government policies were generally perceived as center-left, reflecting the centrist policies of the INC. The congress party is today more closely aligned with the neoliberalism, strongly advocates social democracy and social liberalism.

During the tenure of Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, the constituents of the UPA were, by mutual consent, supporting his government.[6] UPA survived a vote of confidence in the parliament on 22 July 2008 after left parties withdrew their support. Support from the Samajwadi Party was significant in this. In the Indian General Election in 2009, the UPA won 262 seats, of which the INC accounted for 206. Inclusive and populist policies along with a younger leadership has been credited for this.[7]

United Progressive Alliance


Initial support
Initially, UPA was given external support from the Left Front which totaled 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.[8] Outside support is currently being offered by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Party (9 MPs), the Bharatiya Navshakti Party (1 MP), the National Conference (2 MPs)[9] and by the National Loktantrik Party (1 MP). In addition, rebel MPs from Biju Janata Dal, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Janata Dal (United), and the independent MPs take the tally of UPA supporting MPs to 275.[10]

All India Majhlis Itehaadul Muslimeen On 12th November All India Majhlis Itehaadul Muslimeen decided to withdraw support from the UPA due to communal disturbances in hyderabad relating to the Construction of a temple near the charminar and going against the A.P High Court. Telangana Rashtra Samithi 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.[11] Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), began its drift when it tied up with the UPA's rival All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) during the Tamil Nadu elections, and on March 16, 2007 officially withdrew support from the government.[12][13] Bahujan Samaj Party 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.[14]

United Progressive Alliance Left Front 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.[15] People's Democratic Party On 4 January 2009, Mehbooba Mufti, president of the People's 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.[16] Pattali Makkal Katchi 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.


DMK On October 17, 2008 14 DMK MP's, including central ministers T.R. Baalu and Atankwadi. Raja, handed in their post-dated resignation letters to the head of the party, TN CM M. Karunanidhi in demanding an end to the violence against civilians in Sri Lanka. There were consequently 16 DMK MP's left in the 14th Lok Sabha. All 4 Rajya Sabha MP's had also submitted post-dated resignation letters, including Karunanidhi's daughter, Kanimozhi had handed in her resignation on October 14, A. A. Jinnah, Tiruchi Siva, and Vasanthi Stanley. All 40 Lok Sabha MPs of Tamil Nadu and the union territory of Pondicherry had also threatened to quit the government if it failed to take action on the Sri Lankan issue. Lawyers in Coimbatore joined their Tamil brethren in burning an effigy of Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony within the court premises earlier in the day, alleging a conspiracy by bureaucrats of Kerala origin to keep the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka on tenterhooks.[17] Following these actions, the TN CM Karunanidhi said, on November 4, that he was "satisfied" with the measures taken by the UPA government in the center on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. A statement said: "we have a Centre, which realises the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka, and the leaders there respect our sentiments," and that they were doing their best to mitigate the sufferings of the Tamils of Lanka. He added that, "We have to raise our demands to increase their action."[18]

2009 General Elections
UPA won the general elections with the Congress winning 206 seats, 61 seats more than the 2004 election tally. The pre-poll coalition of UPA, which did not include Lalu Yadav's RJD, Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP and Mulayam Singh Yadav's SP, won 262 seats, and needed the support of 10 MPs to get a simple majority in the Lok Sabha. Manmohan Singh continued to be the Prime Minister and in doing so became only the second Prime Mnister of India after Jawahar Lal Nehru to return to power after a full five year term in office. RJD, SP, BSP, JD (S) and other smaller parties and independents provide external support to the government.


Before the election, the UPA comprised the following constituent parties:

United Progressive Alliance


Parties Indian National Congress Nationalist Congress Party [20] [21]

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

Jammu & Kashmir National Conference Indian Union Muslim League Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi Kerala Congress (Mani) Jharkhand Mukti Morcha

Current members for Lok-Sabha 2009[22][23]
• • • • • • • • Indian National Congress - 205 Seats Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam - 18 Seats Nationalist Congress Party - 9 Seats Rashtriya Lok Dal - 5 Seats[24] Jammu & Kashmir National Conference - 3 Seats Jharkhand Mukti Morcha - 2 Seats Indian Union Muslim League - 2 Seats All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen - 1 Seats (Withdrew support on November 13, 2012) http://articles. economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-11-13/news/35086705_1_mim-upa-government-asaduddin-owaisi • Kerala Congress (Mani) - 1 Seats • Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi - 1 Seats

Supporting parties for Lok-Sabha 2009
• • • • • • • • • • Samajwadi Party - 22 Seat Bahujan Samaj Party - 21 Seats Rashtriya Janata Dal - 4 Seats Janata Dal (Secular) - 3 Seats Nagaland People's Front - 1 Seats Bodoland People's Front - 1 Seats Swabhimani Paksha - 1 Seats Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi - 1 Seats All India United Democratic Front - 1 Seats Sikkim Democratic Front - 1 Seats

United Progressive Alliance


Past and present members of UPA
Current Members
• • • • • • • • • • Indian National Congress (205 MPs) Nationalist Congress Party (9 MP's) Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (18 MP's) Indian Union Muslim League (2 MP's) Jammu & Kashmir National Conference (3 MP's) Kerala Congress (Mani) (1 MP) Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (1 MP) Rashtriya Lok Dal[25][26][24] (5 MP's) Sikkim Democratic Front (1 MP) All India United Democratic Front (1 MP)

Outside support is provided by: • Samajwadi Party: (22 MP's) • Bahujan Samaj Party: (21 MP's) • Rashtriya Janata Dal: (4 MP's) The total is 295 MP's which is above the requisite 273 MP's to stay in power.[27] [28]

Former Members
• • • • • • • • • • • • Telangana Rashtra Samithi (joined the NDA) Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (joined the Third Front) Pattali Makkal Katchi (joined the Third Front) People's Democratic Party Samajwadi Party[29] (joined Fourth Front) Rashtriya Janata Dal[29] (joined the Fourth Front) Lok Janshakti Party[29] (joined the Fourth Front) Republican Party of India (Athvale) (joined the NDA) Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (joined the NDA) All India Trinamool Congress Jharkhand Vikas Morcha All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen


Past general election alliances of Congress (before 2004)

United Progressive Alliance


Election Year Prime Minister Candidate 1977 Indira Gandhi

Parties Indian National Congress (Indira) Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Communist Party of India Jammu & Kashmir National Conference Indian Union Muslim League Kerala Congress Revolutionary Socialist Party (breakaway) Independents (2) Indian National Congress (Indira) Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Jammu & Kashmir National Conference Indian Union Muslim League Kerala Congress (Joseph) Indian National Congress


Indira Gandhi

1984 1989 1991 1998

Rajiv Gandhi None P. V. Narasimha Rao None

INC+ Indian National Congress Kerala Congress (Mani) Indian National Congress (Indira) Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Rashtriya Janata Dal United Democratic Front



During the discussion for the vote of confidence, BJP MP's 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. 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 July 21. 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.[31] 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.[32]

United Progressive Alliance


Split from Trinamool Congress
On 18 September, 2012, TMC Chief, Mamata Banerjee, announced her decision to withdraw support to the UPA after the TMC'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.[33][34]

Jharkhand Vikas Morcha withdraws support
On 01 October, 2012 the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, led by Babulal Marandi, withdrew the support of its two MPs to the UPA government. The JVM was part of the UPA. Though this did not impact the stability of the government, the JVM's withdrawal of support came two weeks after a major UPA ally, the Trinamool Congress, pulled out of the alliance. The reason for JVM's withdrawal was the same as the Trinamool's; against the decision to implement 51% FDI in Retail Businesses and the Hike in Diesel Prices.

[1] http:/ / electionaffairs. com/ parties/ UPA. html [2] Small parties, independents in great demand (http:/ / www. hindu. com/ 2008/ 07/ 12/ stories/ 2008071260391200. htm). [3] Originally the SP had 39 MPs (http:/ / 164. 100. 47. 134/ newls/ membershomepage. aspx). 6 MPs defied party whip (http:/ / www. rediff. com/ news/ 2008/ jul/ 25upavote1. htm) and have been expelled from the party. [4] Lok Sabha members (http:/ / 164. 100. 47. 134/ newls/ membershomepage. aspx) [5] "Congress pins hopes on Jyoti Basu" (http:/ / timesofindia. indiatimes. com/ India/ Congress_pins_hopes_on_Jyoti_Basu/ articleshow/ 3228282. cms). The Times Of India. . [6] Madhu Koda to be next Jharkhand CM (http:/ / www. rediff. com/ news/ 2006/ sep/ 14jhar5. htm). Retrieved on March 26, 2007. [7] "Zakaria: Elections could mark India's debut as great power" (http:/ / edition. cnn. com/ 2009/ WORLD/ asiapcf/ 05/ 22/ zakaria. indiaelections/ ). CNN. May 16, 2009. . Retrieved May 26, 2010. [8] " Secular govt a priority: Basu (http:/ / www. rediff. com/ election/ 2004/ may/ 13basu. htm)." Rediff Election Bureau 13 May 2004. [9] Inching closer to vote, govt safe@272 (http:/ / www. ndtv. com/ convergence/ ndtv/ story. aspx?id=NEWEN20080058175) NDTV [10] Abstentions and cross-voting... (http:/ / www. hindustantimes. com/ StoryPage/ FullcoverageStoryPage. aspx?sectionName=& id=a78363f3-9f54-4f46-9da5-9fa0e4577ae8SinghisKing_Special& MatchID1=4735& TeamID1=8& TeamID2=6& MatchType1=1& SeriesID1=1194& PrimaryID=4735& Headline=Abstentions+ and+ cross-voting. . . ). Retrieved on July 25, 2008. [11] TRS withdraws support to the UPA (http:/ / timesofindia. indiatimes. com/ articleshow/ 2021151. cms). Retrieved on March 26, 2007. [12] Vaiko withdraws support (http:/ / www. ndtv. com/ morenews/ showmorestory. asp?category=National& id=102231). Retrieved on March 26, 2007. [13] [Retrieved on March 26, 2007. [14] Mayawati withdraws support to UPA government (http:/ / www. rediff. com/ news/ 2008/ jun/ 21maya. htm). Retrieved on June 21, 2008. [15] Left pulls out, will meet President Patil on Wednesday (http:/ / www. expressindia. com/ latest-news/ Left-pulls-out-will-meet-President-Patil-on-Wednesday/ 332876/ ) [16] PDP withdraws from UPA (http:/ / www. indianexpress. com/ news/ pdp-withdraws-from-upa-unfortunate-says. . . / 406523/ ), The Indian Express. January 5, 2009 [17] http:/ / www. dnaindia. com/ report. asp?newsid=1199083 [18] "Karunanidhi 'satisfied' with measures taken by Centre" (http:/ / www. hindu. com/ thehindu/ holnus/ 004200811041750. htm). The Hindu (Chennai, India). November 4, 2008. . [19] http:/ / www. siasat. com/ english/ news/ mim-withdraws-support-upa [20] NCP-Congress form a seat sharing agreement in Maharashtra "Congress-NCP alliance stays for 2009 election" (http:/ / www. dnaindia. com/ report. asp?newsid=1236042). DNA. March 4, 2009. . Retrieved 2009-04-06. [21] "Cong-DMK alliance to continue for LS polls" (http:/ / www. rediff. com/ news/ 2009/ mar/ 02cong-dmk-alliance-to-continue-azad. htm). Rediff.com. March 2, 2009. . Retrieved 2009-04-06. [22] http:/ / www. ndtv. com/ news/ india/ manmohan_gets_presidential_invite_to_form_govt. php [23] http:/ / ibnlive. in. com/ news/ smooth-sailing-for-upa-parties-scramble-to-support/ 92967-37. htm [24] "Ajit Singh's RLD joins UPA" (http:/ / www. thehindu. com/ news/ national/ article2709331. ece). The Hindu (Chennai, India). December 12, 2011. . [25] http:/ / news. oneindia. in/ 2011/ 12/ 13/ ajit-singh-joins-upa-to-be-civil-aviation-minister. html [26] http:/ / zeenews. india. com/ news/ nation/ ajit-singh-s-rld-joins-upa_746614. html [27] How numbers stack up for UPA with and without Mamata Banerjee (http:/ / www. ndtv. com/ article/ india/ how-numbers-stack-up-for-upa-with-and-without-mamata-banerjee-268950). Retrieved on 18 Sept 2012.

United Progressive Alliance
[28] UPA numbers game in Lok Sabha, minus Mamata (http:/ / www. hindustantimes. com/ India-news/ NewDelhi/ UPA-numbers-game-in-Lok-Sabha-minus-Mamata/ Article1-932093. aspx). Retrieved on 18 Sept 2012. [29] SP, RJD and LJP form a seat-sharing agreement, but vow to continue supporting the UPA "Lalu, Mulayam, Paswan sign deal, ask Cong not to worry" (http:/ / ibnlive. in. com/ news/ lalu-mulayam-paswan-sign-deal-ask-cong-not-to-worry/ 89408-37. html). CNN-IBN. April 3, 2009. . Retrieved 2009-04-06. [30] http:/ / www. ndtv. com/ article/ india/ another-ally-with-two-mps-pulls-out-of-upa-274275?pfrom=home-otherstories [31] http:/ / www. expressindia. com/ latest-news/ We-have-documentary-proof-of-cash-for-vote-scam-BJP/ 344093/ [32] http:/ / www. financialexpress. com/ news/ Left-joins-BJP-to-sing-chorus-against-UPA/ 374896/ [33] "Rupee falls after TMC pulls out from government" (http:/ / www. moneycontrol. com/ news/ wire-news/ rupee-falls-after-tmc-pulls-outgovernment_759751. html). Monetcontrol.com. . Retrieved 20 September 2012. [34] "Mamata's party ready to meet President tomorrow to officially quit UPA" (http:/ / www. ndtv. com/ article/ india/ 24-hours-for-mamata-banerjee-s-ministers-to-resign-will-upa-really-be-didi-less-269851). NDTV. . Retrieved 20 September 2012.


External links
• Common Minimum Programme of the UPA. (http://pmindia.nic.in/cmp.pdf) • Arora, Balveer and Tawa Lama Rewal, Stéphanie. "Introduction: Contextualizing and Interpreting the 15th Lok Sabha Elections" (http://samaj.revues.org/index2845.html). South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, 3, 2009.

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