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Rise and fall of UPA

Date: 03 December 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous


The Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, said that there was no more UPA and the alliance was finished.



UPA or the United progressive Alliance was a group of parties that came together and formed government from 2004 to 2014. It was led by Indian National Congress (INC).



  • The statement of Banerjee is an indication that a grouping of regional parties was better placed to take on the might of ruling party.

  • An alliance in which the INC is not an automatic leader has shown to give better hopes to the opposition party leaders.


Rise of UPA

  • The UPA was formed in 2004, after coming together of INC, Left parties and others. The alliance managed to hold on to the power after 2009 elections.

  • After managing to outnumber BJP in 2004 elections, the congress managed to attract similar-minded political parties to form an alliance and keep BJP out of power.

  • About 14 political parties supported the government from inside whereas 4 Left parties gave outside support based on Common Minimum Programme (CMP).

  • Dr Manmohan Singh was chosen as the leader of the alliance. Other parties involved in the alliance included LJP, NCP, PDP, RJD, JMM, RLD, SP etc.


The fall

  • TRS, led by K Chandrasekhar Rao quit the alliance over the issue of Telangana. The MDMK left alliance alleging the government’s failure to implement ideas.

  • The biggest setback was when the Left parties left the alliance over the government’s decision to sign Civil nuclear deal with USA.


The second innings

  • The UPA managed to retain power with Congress winning 206 seats. Parties such as TMC and NC supported Dr Singh for his second stint.

  • The SP and RJD gave outside support to the government. The number of allies reduced to five parties this time.

  • The TMC and DMK left the alliance in 2012 over variety of issues. The DMK criticized the government for its stand on Sri Lankan Tamils.


The present scenario

  • Since the decimation in 2014, UPA has not met. The opposition meeting these days is referred to as meeting of ‘like-minded parties’.

  • Trinamool Congress is on an expansion spree. It has recruited disgruntled former Congress and other opposition party leaders. The idea is to project a new opposition, sans the Gandhi-led Congress.