Composition of UPA II

A few days ago I had a short exchange with Tejus Sajwani on Twitter (who by the way you should definitely follow) when he asked the following question:

Without AAP, if Modi hadn’t done well in coming elections, he would have lost his raison d’être. But now, even if BJP doesn’t do well, Modi can still stick around, saying that BJP was jilted at the altar by an errant bride that ran off with AAP! So perhaps then, we have a cobbled up coalition for a few months, which perhaps ends up giving BJP a better chance in a 2nd election in say 1.5-2 years? Plausible??

This was my initial response:


I’m embarrassed to say that at the time I didn’t realize that the current UPA II government has 276 MPs which is just one more than the 275 MPs required to stay in power, and also a little confused because the Lok Sabha website itself gives a different number.

Parties According to Lok Sabha Website According to Wikipedia
Indian National Congress 204 206
Nationalist Congress Party 9 9
Rashtriya Lok Dal 5 5
Jammu & Kashmir National Conference 3 3
Indian Union Muslim League 2 3
Kerala Congress (Mani) 1 1
Sikkim Democratic Front 1 1
All India United Democratic Front 1 1
Outside Support
Samajwadi Party 22 22
Bahujan Samaj Party 21 21
Rashtriya Janata Dal 3 4
Total 272 276

After checking with a few people, I feel that the Lok Sabha website is incorrect, but please leave a comment if you have any insight on this.

Going back to the original question, I think it is quite possible that the scenario Tejus mentioned plays out because AAP is planning to contest about 300 seats, and winning even 20 of those will give them significant sway over BJP which is expected to win the most seats.

This will create any coalition very difficult, and a distinct possibility for a re-election which the market never likes. I think this view is only beginning to gain momentum in the popular press now, but I feel it won’t be long before it gets a lot of attention, and rightly so.

Finally, it is worth mentioning here that I like AAP and although I frown upon many of their left leaning policies, overall, I think they are much better than the alternatives, and if nothing else, I feel that this is the best bad idea we have sir, by far.

51 thoughts on “Composition of UPA II”

  1. Manshu – see the news today – looks like AAP team has entered Hotel California 🙂

    Wants to check-out but unable to leave :))

  2. Good discussion, but illustrates some weaknesses of Indian political discourse. I would characterise Indian political mood as quite hopeful despite high levels of noise, in the following manner:
    (1) People unhappy with Congress after scams and anti-incumbency, but willing to give RaGa a chance later on if he can show some results.
    (2) Some people uncomfortable with NaMo on communal issues but willing to overlook to give him a chance to govern strongly after MMS’ indecisive leadership.
    (3) People hopeful of AAP’s new approach but worried about populism and mob mentality (poor voters don’t mind it so much).

    This is not a bad situation so long as Modi moves beyond RSS agenda, Kejriwal becomes more positive in his agenda and RaGa actually implements party reforms that he has only talked about until now. But if you watch TV you would think everything is coming to an end.

    But at the same time NaMo and AAP supporters are too aggressive (Congress supporters are in hiding!) because they think their guy is the answer to the country’s problems and attack all those who disagree (especially NaMo supporters IMO).

    The real world guys is not a Modi, Kejri or RaGa troll — people are willing to give all of them a chance despite real reservations. So please take it easy.

    My feeling is that this is NaMo’s time (as polls show) but don’t write off Kejri or RaGa. Over next five years game is very much open.

  3. Manshu, we do read blogs, news posts etc. on the current situation and the economic and social consequences. Must say that your blog has mature responses on, not just passionate outbursts.

    Speaks volumes of the readership of One Mint.

  4. See the tamasha in Delhi. Agree with you Harinee. Yes the media is helping their cause and all this started for coverage only. Now it is going out of hand.
    This is not governance

    1. The Anarchist Kejriwal, he who holds governance in the city ransom to his political ambitions, hiding behind the face of aam admi. Old habits (dharna’s), die hard. This Anarchist dude should have mentioned Dharna as his karma in Manifesto, then see how many people vote for him.

  5. What AAP is doing at present in Delhi is asinine to put it mildly.And the zero tolerance to criticism and flip-flops has ensured loss of credibility.And the media is not helping the cause.There was a program on chances on AK being PM in a channel clearly forgetting that he didnt win majority even in Delhi.
    Prefer other 2 parties to this circus.

  6. Hypothetical thought experiment, and forget for a moment the parties that exist, etc.

    What would you prefer? A govt with some corrupt people which implements the right economic policies or well intentioned clean people who implement the wrong policies? Which one is objectively better?

    By the way, wasn’t MMS supposed to be a well-intentioned, well-educated non-corrupt person? Did it matter at all in the end that he was clean?

    I think the debate on the criterion for public office needs to move from debating intentions to debating policies. But, who is interested in that? People power, sure, but do people care about details of policy?

    1. Great questions asked! You are absolutely right that the vision is clearly lacking in this political cycle like in any other past election cycle. Vision if any, is being shrouded by two concepts a) corruption b) aam aadmi, which has hijacked all the past elections. At the end of it aadmi remains aam and corruption continues to thrive and grow. It is baffling after all these years, the voters have not figured out- 1) That they have remained aam while the political elites enjoy special power 2) What is corruption? 3) What causes corruption? 4) IS corruption really a root cause problem for all ills in the Indian society?

  7. Kudos to AAP for running a successful campaign in Delhi. They clearly demonstrated that “aam aadmi” and “corruption” message sells extremely well in modern times (or not so modern?) not only amongst illiterate rurals but also amongst bourgeois urbans. Having followed the elections for the last 40+ years, these 2 words have formed the winning formula to win the elections in India. After 50+ years aadmi is still aam (I doubt it is aam any more. I think it is more poorer. Nearly 67% of India’s population live on less than $2 a day) and corruption is very much alive and kicking!

    The emergence or more like rejuvenation of AAP (socialist model) brings up several interesting questions:

    1) Is corruption really a problem or sympton?
    2) Does aadmi want to remain aam or does he/she want to develop himself/herself so not only he/she can do good for himself/herself but also for India and for the rest of the world?
    3) Will India ever figure out the causes of corruption and develop like the rest of the world is?

    Clearly AAP is not the answer if India is serious about solving the riddle to the above-mentioned questions!

  8. With regard to the composition of the UPA, IUML MP from Vellore, TN contested through DMK symbol as DMK and IUML are friendly parties in TN. But once DMK withdrew support to UPA, the Vellore MP too followed ( or maybe the law mandated him to). And with regard to RJD it was Laloo who was convicted hence ceased to be a member of the Lok Sabha. No Idea about INC difference

  9. Good to hear you covering politics too.

    As everyday passing makes me think who is AAP to be self proclaimed representative of aam admi?. A party which has people with no common or no ideology at all. And the one ideology they had: corruption, they have forgotten (asking proof of shiela dikshit’s corruotion) and playing the dirty publicity stunts possible in politics. Captain Gopinath’s opposition on party’s withdrawal of FDI speaks volumes of AAP’s alienation with economic growth.

    Rather than focusing on freebies and unproductive subsidies, there should be focus on generating employment; so that people are more productive and earn more to afford things. Lets get a govt who teaches us how to catch fish, and not just provides fish

    1. Thanks Ankur. I’m a bit disappointed with the quality of general reporting, and I think I can write numbers driven, and factual posts that add to this discourse. I think the problem is that the mainstream media caters to the common denominator without trying to raise it.

      1. Media does influence people’s opinion. But, this is the same media which has projected Kejriwal as PM and AAP as national challenger. So, people are raising quetsions on AAP.

        Although, AAP is entitled to its time to formulate its economic agenda. I still doubt it will be any pro-reforms given their subsidy-heavy agenda and the presence of leftist & anti -corporate elements (like medha patkar)

  10. Actually it doesn’t matter AAP wins seats or not.
    Even if they get 1-5% vote share in each constituency that will reduce the voting share for BJP as many of supporters are supporting both BJP and AAP. This will help Congress only. This is one of the reasons Congress is going easy on AAP.

  11. One last comment seeing the above comments from Ramesh, Jsan and Piyush
    Many of us dedicated supporters are getting disappointed with the complete inaction of AAP. Today’s tamasha –

    Actually hope there are opinion polls every month to gauge the rising / declining popularity. Will be interesting.

  12. I agree with Anon and Piyush

    They are in a hurry and making a mess. We will lose a good movement due to this hurry

    See the drama everyday…just for publicity. There are serious governance issues in the Capital. And it’s clear that there’s no focus on those. All attention is on the elections and there is the ever obliging media wanting TRPs

    The novelty is wearing off…..

        1. 80% of the business leaders, including the likes of Tata have endorsed Modi’s policies. They definitely know more about India, and India in global context than average Indian.

          1. I like him better than Congress but because of Godhra, I would prefer someone like AAP if only they could water down the tamasha and make a little economic sense.

            1. It is quite unfortunate that both Supreme Court and most recent Appeals Court cleared Modi of any wrongdoings. And, yet the specter of Godhra must haunt Modi. Such is the public’s perception of the incident that is highly politicized and the one that is blown out of proportion by Modi antagonist. There have been worse riots in the history of India. The mother of all the riots is the one that happened during partition of India, when millions and millions of innocent civilians were killed. Check out the BBC documentary on it over here -> I must warn you it is extremely disturbing and not for faint-hearted. Yet the Modi-detractors are fixated on Godhra riots and overlook all other equally bad as Godhra or worse than Godhra riots. Justice is truly blind, sigh!

              As for AAP, they are reviving Nehruvian style socialist/communist policies ( The very policy that led India to bankruptcy, which forced India to airlift tonnes and tonnes of gold as collateral in-order to secure emergency loan from the World Bank. And, yet no one’s making qualms about it. Forget about making qualms, I am shocked by the complacency and acceptance of AAP’s socialistic economic policies (redistribution, protectionism, etc. etc.) in these modern times where world is looking ahead while India is looking backwards! Even Africa is forging ahead! India now ranks above all of Africa when it comes to the absolute total number of people living below or at poverty line.

              At the time when 67% of India is living on less than $2 a day, Indians are more worried about Godhra (when in its history there has been worse riots) than they are about their wallet.

              1. It is ultimately a question of which is the best option given the options, and when it was just Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi, Modi was the better option in my opinion but now the game has changed, and you have another option which may be better than Modi.

                Yes, there have been other riots, and of course we are all aware of partition and then the riots against Sikhs after Indira Gandhi’s deaths. Yes, they happened, and to that extent to blame Modi and absolve all others is foolish, and no one should ever do that. And the fear is not Godhra, the fear is something like that repeating on a larger scale in the future. I don’t know how possible that is and for the most part I think the possibility is very remote, however, if there is an alternate with a clean slate, you should at least give them a look.

                As for Socialist policies, I remember the market hitting the upper circuit when the results of the last elections were declared and look at the policies that were implemented then. During the multi brand retail FDI debate – the BJP never supported Congress, so they were not particularly modern in their outlook at that time.

                The difficulty in this debate is that all alternatives are bad, and it is hard to ascribe qualities to any of them and say that yes, this is definitely true of this party. It is all a trade off and in the end you have to see which is the most tenable option.

                1. Assuming AK is better than Modi, in that case is AK going to get majority? If not then what happens if he forms the Government with Congress or Third front. How Good will be the future for our next generation. I have no doubt that Modi can secure the future of my child as I have seen the ground reality in Gujarat Development. Modi provided long term solution for all issue he addressed from Water to Electricity not like giving Subsidies just to apease few (AK and Congress)

                2. At first you remarked if Modi were to be elected then the risk of religious riots will go up. After showing you the other riots in the history, then you stated Modi should not bear the blame alone. Obviously no one wants another riot but on the same token it is quite naive to think there will not be another riot given that the India has been plagued with massacres after massacres ( If anything the minorities who have lived under Modi or BJP led government proclaimed they not only feel safer but has a best chance at economic prosperity than living under other government ( and

                  After the results of last elections were declared the market rallied because Communist party threat was taken out and Congress got clear mandate to govern and carry out the reforms they were promising. Mind you UPA had form government in alliance with the Communist Parties. If you recall that era the Communist party became a major burden on Congress and India. They tried to thwart the nuclear deal, they became obstructionist to economic development, constantly forcing communist agenda down the India’s throat. As a result growth stalled, unemployment soared, and India’s dream of entering 21st century shattered. Guess what? that same communists and communism is back in the form of AAP!!!!! (

                  As for BJP opposing FDI in the parliament, what did you expected them to do? Any other stand than what they took is a political suicide! Why commit suicide when you can live another day to carry out the reforms!!!! Here are the achievements of the last NDA government -> And one thing that no one can dispute is that the last NDA government showed the kind of leadership that India has never seen, even today!

                  Your last paragraph epitomizes the voter mindset – i.e. immaturity in asking the right questions. The voters are comparing the parties based on the aesthetics and rhetoric vs comparison based on substance and context. What I mean is voters are not asking right set of questions when voting for national elections(they never have, they have always fallen for the rhetoric and aesthetics!!). The questions to ask at the national level are: Who is India? What is India? What is its history? Where does it lie? Where does it stand with respect to rest of the countries in the world? What should it evolve into? Who is the best leader to carry out those transformations?

                3. Also another thing I read that is a commonplace amongst your users and elsewhere, is that everyone wants a corruption free government. But nobody wants to understand what corruption is? why corruption is happening? Is corruption a root cause or is it a symptom? Because of the general public’s lack of understanding of corruption, cheap ass politicians like Kejriwal and others are happy to pounce on it and peddle it to the gullible citizens to grab power! That is what we are seeing in Delhi…

                  1. I implore you to not assume that someone is immature, and naive because they disagree with you, and even if you do, leave that out of your comments as that degrades the quality of the conversation, and moves the focus away from the issue at hand, and to who is and isn’t immature or rational.

                    1. Use of those words are neither to demeanor or degrade, nor to scorn anyone. Those words have to be taken at face value as opposed to implied meaning. Where I say immature, if you read the follow-up statement, all I am saying is more variables need to be taken in to account besides aesthetics and rhetoric, when evaluating the candidate and their party and their policies they’ll bring to the table. For example variable like median age of the population at the moment is 25 years, which means if there is another government like the one we had for the last 10 years when there was paralysis on the reform side, it is the population that will eventually suffer and India would have missed the boat. Because 5 years from now India will be a country of old! Critical analysis is missing in general public, and as always in media! Rhetoric is triumphing all the time while substance is completely missing in the debates that are happening on air.

                      Finally, to say that there won’t be another riot in the history of India given its two centuries of history is marred with riots after riots, is not naive than what is?

  13. Hi Manshu,
    I was also a AAP Supporter but when AK told that there is no difference between NaMo and RG that time I reliased how short is the vision on AAP. I think other three state where BJP formed the Governement, they have already started the work and AK is still work in Progress. AAP will definaltely eat the BJP vote and will benifit the congress. Try to see the video of RTR on Twitter and you will come to know what is common between AK and Chiranjivi

  14. I’m a BJP & Namo supporter. But if AAP get 60-70 seats, they are contenders for power at centre. I won’t be surprised that if they win 60-70 seats, they will form the govt. Not support a govt from outside. But form their own govt. It could be with support from non congress, non-BJP parties (unlikely, as AAP usurps their space in the politics of the country, they would do whatever they want to stop it). Else with support from Congress/BJP with a few other smaller parties either supporting or abstaining from voting.

    Either case it will be not be a good outcome. AAP as an org and its policies are not in place yet. They will stumble and we will lose a good phenomenon. I think they should have the patience to wait for 5 years rather than jump in the fray so soon.

    1. And I feel that some of the momentum that was in their favor in the beginning is now against them because people have seen them in action in Delhi and they don’t like what they see.

        1. I wonder if they win even 10. They will implode within a few weeks. The process is already started and #QuitAAP is quite the trending topic in twitter now. I see more anti-AAP articles on my FB feed now than was there one month back.

    1. I read this article earlier today, and while I agree that you can’t give services for free, and there isn’t a solid plan put in place yet, I think the author’s judgement is harsh.

  15. Follow you on Twitter. Guess this is your first political article?

    Some thoughts for your numerous readers
    1. People emotionally took to AAP and the talk of real reform and cleansing up of this system was what we wanted to hear. AAP may have won Delhi with all our support, but actions done thereafter do not justify confidence reposed. I certainly am not amused by the daily tamasha and had sincerely hoped for a focus on governance in Delhi first. I only see trips to others’ constituencies. Publicity…publicity…publicity is the game now.

    2. Left leaning policies may be good and there is a debate between Left and Right leaning policies; but the reason for decisions should not be a durbar or emotional outbursts as part of a referendum view which may not really be good for the “Whole”.

    3. Certainly, the common man now feels empowered, but it is definitely the responsibility of the AAP now to let us down. In the two weeks, I see that the vision has been diluted….given up?

    I still have hope that the faith we reposed will not go in vain. Hoping for real governance, policy pronouncements, work on first providing water to all in Delhi, ensuring continuous supply of power, bettering infrastructure and policies facilitating all round development and growth.

    Thank you Manshu for your articles.

    1. There have been a few political articles in the past too. I feel that it is too short a time to pass judgment yet, and certainly I haven’t seen any evidence of corruption common to the Indian political system which inspires confidence as well.

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