United Progressive Alliance
IAST: Saṁyukt Pragatiśīl Gaṭhabandhan
ChairpersonSonia Gandhi
Lok Sabha LeaderAdhir Ranjan Chowdhury
Rajya Sabha LeaderMallikarjun Kharge
Founded6 May 2004; 19 years ago (2004-05-06)
Political positionCentre-left[5]
Alliance19 parties
Seats in Lok Sabha
108 / 543
Seats in Rajya Sabha
64 / 245
Seats in State Legislative Assemblies
1,960 / 4,036
Seats in State Legislative Councils
152 / 423
Number of states and union territories in government
05 / 31

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA; IAST: Saṁyukt Pragatiśīl Gaṭhabandhan) was a political alliance in India led by the Indian National Congress. It was formed after the 2004 general election with support from left-leaning political parties when no single party got the majority.[6]

The UPA subsequently governed India from 2004 until 2014 for 2 terms before losing power to their main rivals, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. The UPA used to rule 7 States and union territories of India before it was dissolved to form the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance on 18 July 2023 ahead of the 2024 general election.[7][8]



UPA was formed soon after the 2004 Indian general election when no party had won a majority. The then ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won 181 seats[9] of 544, 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 supported UPA at various times.[10][11] UPA did not achieve a majority, rather it relied on external support, 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 constituent parties had developed seat-sharing agreements in many states. After the election 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 consultations with Jyoti Basu and Harkishan Singh Surjeet of the 59-member Left Front.[12] 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.[13]

On 22 July 2008, the UPA 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.[14] The Congress party and its leaders along with then Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh were accused of a "cash for vote" scam as part of the cash-for-votes scandal, in which they were accused of buying votes in Lok Sabha to save the government.[15][16][17] During UPA I, the economy saw steady economic growth and many people (100 million+) escaped poverty.


In the 2009 Lok Sabha election, the UPA won 262 seats, of which the INC accounted for 206. During UPA II, the alliance was successfully won election in Maharashtra, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh. However, there were several allegations of scams during its tenure that impacted UPA's image nationwide and the approval rating for the government fell. In addition, many members left for YSRCP. This started a domino effect with members leaving to form their own parties and parties such as DMK leaving the alliance altogether. During this time UPA struggled with state election and leadership stability. The alliance suffered a defeat in 2014 Indian general election as it won only 60 seats. In addition, UPA won only one state election and got wiped out from Andhra Pradesh where they previously had 150+ MLAs.


From 2014 to 2017, UPA won only 3 state elections. This was blamed on the alliance's failed leadership and weakness compared to the NDA. In addition the party lost power in states where they had once won state elections as in Bihar. In 2017 the alliance lost again. In 2018 UPA had a phenomenal comeback in the state elections as the party won important in Karnataka, Rajasthan and others. More parties joined the alliance and it was stronger than ever.

In 2019 Indian general election the UPA won only 91 seats in the general election and INC won 52 seats, thus failed to secure 10% seats required for the leader of opposition post. The alliance lost another state to BJP with the party winning by-polls and pushing the UPA into the minority.

Towards the end of 2019, the alliance made huge gains in Haryana, won in Jharkhand and formed a state-level alliance called Maha Vikas Aghadi to form the government in Maharashtra with Uddhav Thackeray of Shiv Sena leading the ministry. Shiv Sena had been a member of NDA for twenty five years. It left NDA and joined MVA in 2019.[18]


Since 2020, more parties joined the alliance. The alliance lost the Bihar election that everyone expected it to win but in 2022, ruling party JD(U) left National Democratic Alliance and rejoined Mahagathbandhan to form government in Bihar.

In addition UPA only won 1 out of the 5 state elections in 2021. However the alliance made significant gain in a number of MLA races. MVA lost control of Maharashtra due to crisis and split in Shiv Sena. Moreover, UPA lost in Gujarat assembly elections however, it won the state election in Himachal Pradesh.

In 2023, UPA again failed in winning elections in the North-East but won the assembly in very important state of Karnataka.

The alliance was rebranded as the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance on 18 July 2023, with many parties joining the newly-formed alliance. The alliance will contest the 2024 Indian general election, being the primary opposition to the ruling National Democratic Alliance.[19]

Former Members

This section is transcluded from List of United Progressive Alliance members. (edit | history)

Members at the time of dissolution.

Party President Portrait MPs in Lok Sabha MPs in Rajya Sabha MLAs in State Legislative Assemblies MLCs in State Legislative Councils Base state
1 Indian National Congress Mallikarjun Kharge
50 31 737 55 National Party
2 Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam M. K. Stalin
24 10 139 0 Tamil Nadu, Puducherry
4 Shiv Sena (UBT) Uddhav Thackeray
6 3 17 9 Maharashtra, Dadra and Nagar Haveli
5 Nationalist Congress Party Sharad Pawar
5 4 59 Maharashtra
6 Rashtriya Janata Dal Lalu Prasad Yadav
0 6 80 14 Bihar, Jharkhand, Kerala
7 Indian Union Muslim League K. M. Kader Mohideen
3 1 15 Kerala
8 Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Farooq Abdullah
3 0 0 Jammu and Kashmir
9 Jharkhand Mukti Morcha Hemant Soren
1 2 30 Jharkhand
10 Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Vaiko
0 1 0 Tamil Nadu
11 Revolutionary Socialist Party (India) Manoj Bhattacharya 1 0 0 Kerala
12 Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi Thol. Thirumavalavan
1 0 4 Tamil Nadu
13 Assam Jatiya Parishad Lurin Jyoti Gogoi 0 0 0 Assam
14 Goa Forward Party Vijai Sardesai 0 0 1 Goa
15 Kerala Congress P. J. Joseph
0 0 2 Kerala
16 Revolutionary Marxist Party of India Mangat Ram Pasla
0 0 1 Kerala
17 Anchalik Gana Morcha Ajit Kumar Bhuyan 0 1 0 Assam
18 Kerala Congress (Jacob) Anoop Jacob
0 0 1 Kerala
19 Nationalist Congress Kerala Mani C. Kappan
0 0 1 Kerala
20 Peasants and Workers Party of India Jayant Prabhakar Patil 0 0 1 1 Maharashtra
20 Independent Some Independent Candidates 0 0 26 None
Total 114 64 1123 India

Members left before dissolution.

Political Party State Date Reason for withdrawal
BRS Telangana 2006 Differences over proposed statehood for Telangana
BSP National Party 2008 Congress opposed the UP government where the BSP was the ruling party
JKPDP Jammu and Kashmir 2009 Congress decided to support National Conference Government in Jammu and Kashmir
PMK Tamil Nadu 2009 PMK declared that it would join the AIADMK led front
AIMIM Telangana 2012 Accused Congress led State Government of Communalism
AITC West Bengal 2012 AITC's demands on rollbacks and reforms not met, including the governments decision to allow FDI in retail and hike in the prices of railway tickets.
SJ(D) Kerala 2014 It merged with Janata Dal (United) on 29 December 2014.
RLD Uttar Pradesh 2014 Decided to leave after 2014 election performance.
JD(S) Karnataka 2019 After JD(S)-INC alliance govt fell in Karnataka, two parties decided to end alliance.
RLSP Bihar 2020 Withdrawn support before Bihar Assembly Election 2020 & Allied with BSP+ on 29 September 2020.
VIP Bihar 2020 Withdrawn support before Bihar Assembly Election 2020 & Allied with NDA
KC(M) Kerala 2020 Decided to join LDF
BPF Assam 2021 Withdrew due to performance in 2021 Assam election.
AIUDF Assam 2021 Party was expelled from the alliance.

Poll performances

2004 Lok Sabha Election
Sr.no Party Seats Won Seat Change Vote%
1. Indian National Congress 145 Increase 32 26.7%
2. Rashtriya Janata Dal 21 Increase 12 2.2%
3. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 16 Increase 4 1.8%
4. Nationalist Congress Party 9 Increase 1 1.8%
5. Lok Janshakti Party 4 Steady 0.6%
6. Telangana Rashtra Samithi 2 Steady 0.6%
7. Pattali Makkal Katchi 6 Increase 1 0.5%
8. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha 5 Steady 0.5%
9. Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 4 Steady 0.4%
10. Indian Union Muslim League 1 Increase 1 0.2%
11. Republican Party of India (Athawale) 1 Steady 0.1%
12. Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party 1 Steady 0.1%
Total 218 Increase 83 35.4%
2009 Lok Sabha Election
Sr.no Party Seats Won Seat Change
1. Indian National Congress 206 Increase 61
2. Rashtriya Janata Dal 4 Decrease 17
3. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 18 Increase 2
4. Nationalist Congress Party 9 Decrease 1
5. All India Trinamool Congress 19 Increase 18
6. Jammu & Kashmir National Conference 3 Increase 3
7. Bodoland People's Front 1 Increase 1
8. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha Decrease 3
9. All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen 1 Increase 1
10. Indian Union Muslim League 2 Increase 1
11. Kerala Congress (Mani) 1 Increase 1
Total 262 Increase 44

List of presidents and vice presidents

Note that it refers to nomination by alliance, as the offices of President and Vice President are apolitical.


No. Portrait Name
Term of office

Electoral mandates

Time in office

Previous post Vice president Party[20]
12 Pratibha Patil
25 July 2007 25 July 2012 Governor of Rajasthan Bhairon Singh Shekhawat (2007)

Mohammad Hamid Ansari (2007–12)

Indian National Congress  
5 years, 0 days
13 Pranab Mukherjee
25 July 2012 25 July 2017 Union Minister of Finance Mohammad Hamid Ansari (2012–17)
5 years, 0 days

Vice presidents

No. Portrait Name
(% votes)
Took office Left office Term President(s) Party
12 Mohammad Hamid Ansari
11 August 2007 10 August 2012 10 years, 0 days Pratibha Patil Indian National Congress  
11 August 2012 10 August 2017 Pranab Mukherjee

List of prime ministers

Further information: List of prime ministers of India

List of prime ministers of India
No. Prime ministers Portrait Term in office Lok Sabha Government Cabinet Constituency
Start End Tenure
14 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

Candidates in elections

Lok Sabha general elections

Electoral performance

Election Seats won Change Total votes Share of votes Swing Status UPA Leader
262 / 543
Increase44 158,305,006 36.66% Increase0.95% Government Manmohan Singh
60 / 543
Decrease202 130,664,858 23.59% Decrease13.07% Opposition Rahul Gandhi
93 / 543
Increase31 177,645,346 29.00% Increase5.41% Opposition Rahul Gandhi


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, L. K. Advani questioned the status, timing and schedule of the current session of parliament.[22]

M. 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 Sri Lankan Tamils by the Sri Lanka 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 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.[23]

The year 2008 was a darkest part of the UPA, due to the failure to prevent several terrorist attacks. The UPA had repealed the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 in 2004, which softened the stand on acts of terrorism and weakened the law enforcement.[24] The weakened legislation, along with intelligence failures, resulted in bombings in 2008 across cities like Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Delhi, led by the Indian Mujahideen.[25] During the 2008 Mumbai attacks, when 10 Pakistani terrorists from the banned terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba came from the sea route and seized the city for 3 days, the UPA Government faced immense criticism from citizens and leaders of opposition for intelligence failures as well as not being able to provide quick transportation for NSG commandos.[26][27] Furthermore, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, was criticized for launching a book which mentioned that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was somehow linked to the attack, despite credible evidence and confessions from Ajmal Kasab, the only gunman who was captured by Mumbai Police.[28][29] The 2008 attacks in Mumbai also led to resignation of several leaders in the UPA, both in Central and Maharashtra State Government, on the grounds of moral responsibility as well as for making insensitive statements.[30][31][32]

The UPA was criticised for its alleged involvement scams such as the Commonwealth Games Scam of 2010, the 2G spectrum case, and the Indian coal allocation 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 UPA-run state governments.[33]

The UPA Government has been severely condemned for mishandling the aftermath of the 2012 Delhi gang rape case. As per several media houses, the Government had failed to act positively or give credible assurances to the protesters and instead used police force, lathi-charging, pushing the media out of the scene, and shutting down metro rail stations.[34] In the aftermath of the incident, while the Government passed an amendment of the current laws against rape and sexual assault, which ensured stricter punishments for rape convicts, the amendment was criticized and labeled as an eyewash, as the changes in the laws failed to serve as a deterrent to rising incidents of rape.[35] Furthermore, several key suggestions were ignored, including the criminalisation of marital rape and trying military personnel accused of sexual offences under criminal law, which was severely condemned by several women's safety activists.[36]

During its tenure between 2004 and 2014, as well as before, the UPA faced widespread condemnation for indulging in appeasement politics. Following the introduction of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, which criminalized triple talaq or instant divorce and replaced the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986, several leaders from the UPA opposed the law.[37]

The UPA, in its opposition, faced immense criticism by the NDA Government for banking frauds, mostly by giving unsecured loans to fugitive businessmen Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi during the tenure of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.[38][39] Mallya owes money to a consortium of 17 banks, from whom he took loan to fund his now closed Kingfisher Airlines, and Modi owes money to the Punjab National Bank.[40][41] While Mallya and Modi have been apprehended in the Great Britain and awaiting extradition, Choksi acquired citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda, with a warrant against him to extradite to India for the bank fraud.[42][43][44]

See also


  1. ^ "UPA and secularism".
  2. ^ Agrawal, S. P.; Aggarwal, J. C., eds. (1989). Nehru on Social Issues. New Delhi: Concept Publishing. ISBN 978-817022207-1.
  3. ^ Lowell Barrington (2009). Comparative Politics: Structures and Choices. Cengage Learning. p. 379. ISBN 978-0-618-49319-7.
  4. ^ Meyer, Karl Ernest; Brysac, Shareen Blair (2012). Pax Ethnica: Where and How Diversity Succeeds. PublicAffairs. p. 50. ISBN 978-1-61039-048-4. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  5. ^ "United Progressive Alliance political organization, India".
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ "Opposition meeting: 26 Indian parties form alliance to take on PM Modi". BBC News.
  8. ^ "NDA vs I.N.D.I.A in 2024 as UPA rebrands itself as Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance at Opposition meet". Financialexpress. 18 July 2023. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  9. ^ Small parties, independents in great demand Archived 19 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Lok Sabha members Archived 31 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Congress pins hopes on Jyoti Basu". The Times of India.[dead link]
  13. ^ Madhu Koda to be next Jharkhand CM Archived 3 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
  14. ^ "Indian government survives vote". BBC News. 22 July 2008. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^ "Cash-for-vote scam 2008: Court orders further probe". indianexpress.com. Archived from the original on 9 January 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  18. ^ ""Wasted 25 Years in Alliance With BJP...," Says Uddhav Thackeray". NDTV.com. 23 January 2022. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  19. ^ "'I.N.D.I.A': Rebranded UPA has a new name and the same contradictions". Financialexpress. 19 July 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  20. ^ "List of Presidents of India since India became republic | My India". mapsofindia.com. Archived from the original on 28 August 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  21. ^ "Former Vice Presidents". Vice President of India. Archived from the original on 30 August 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ "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.
  24. ^ "Modi accuses Centre of adopting double standards on terrorism Archived 17 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine", Express India, 15 May 2008.
  25. ^ Bangalore, Ahmedabad blasts uncannily similar
  26. ^ Gopalakrishnan, Raju (1 December 2008). "India directs anger at politicians after Mumbai attacks". Alertnet. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  27. ^ Sharma, Aman (29 November 2008). "Red tape delays NSG by 6 hours". India Today. Archived from the original on 12 January 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2009.
  28. ^ Pandey, Raghav (13 May 2018). "After Nawaz Sharif's admission of Pakistan role in 26/11, time Congress apologised to RSS, India". Firstpost. Archived from the original on 7 August 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  29. ^ "RSS & 26/11: Digvijaya flags it off again,this time in Mumbai". The Indian Express. 28 December 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2022.
  30. ^ Shivraj Patil resigns. Sify.com (30 November 2008). Retrieved on 29 December 2011.
  31. ^ "Maharashtra deputy cm RR Patil resigned". The Economic Times. December 2008.
  32. ^ "Deshmukh visit Taj with R.G. Varma sparked anger". 30 November 2008.
  33. ^ "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.
  34. ^ Kaul, Vivek (24 December 2012). "Shinde-speak shows all that is wrong with government". FirstPost. Archived from the original on 31 December 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  35. ^ "To Solve Violence Against Women, We Need More Than Just Criminal Law Reforms".
  36. ^ "We have accepted 90% of Justice Verma panel's recommendations: Law Minister". NDTV. 3 February 2013. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  37. ^ "Lok Sabha debates bill 'criminalising' instant triple talaq: Who said what". The Times of India. 27 December 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  38. ^ "Loans to Vijay Mallya granted during UPA rule, Manmohan Singh to blame, alleges BJP".
  39. ^ "'Nirav Modi cheated banks during UPA era... many brought back, others will follow': BJP reacts after PNB scam accused spotted".
  40. ^ "PNB scam: CBI to file chargesheet against 19 accused by May 15". India Today. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  41. ^ "SBI seeks Vijay Mallya's arrest in Kingfisher loan default case". The Financial Express. India. 3 March 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  42. ^ Vijay Tagore (25 May 2021). "PNB scam: Mehul Choksi goes missing in Antigua, may have fled to Cuba". The Times of India. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  43. ^ "Vijay Mallya loses final appeal against extradition". moneycontrol.com. 14 May 2020.
  44. ^ Shirbon, Estelle (25 February 2021). "UK court allows extradition of diamond billionaire Nirav Modi to India". Reuters. Retrieved 17 May 2021.