Lok Sabha polls 2019: A closer look at the key constituents of the United Progressive Alliance

There is less than a month to go for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, which will be held from April 11 to May 19. The results will be known on May 23. 

The big fight is between the ruling National Democratic Alliance led by Narendra Modi's BJP and the United Progressive Alliance led by a weakened — it won only 44 seats in 2014 — Congress. 

For now, when it comes alliance building, it is the BJP which has surged ahead, offering concessions and making partners. 

The UPA on the other hand is hobbling along, with a number of commentators saying it is running out of time. Here, we take a closer look at the key constituents of the alliance. 

Indian National Congress

The Rahul Gandhi-led Congress is looking for a new lease of life in the general elections of 2019. The party is currently a midget compared to its grand old self — the party is called the 'grand old party' of India. It is also the party that won India its independence from the British. The party's biggest Lok Sabha win however came In 1984, with the Rajiv Gandhi-led party winning 426 Lok Sabha seats. (Indira Gandhi had been shot that year, and the Congress party had been the beneficiary of massive sympathy voting.) In 2014, the party won only 44 seats, its lowest tally ever.

(Photograph:AFP)

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)

The DMK has allotted as many as 19 of the 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry to its six allies in the upcoming polls. 

The Congress has got nine seats in Tamil Nadu and the lone Puducherry seat.

DMK's 20 seats will include Chennai (North), Chennai (South), Chennai (Central), Tuticorin and Pollachi among others.

The CPI(M) has been allotted Coimbatore and Madurai, while the CPI will fight from Tirupur and Nagapattinam, a reserved constituency.

The pro-Dalit VCK has been given Villupuram and Chidambaram (SC) segments.

The Vaiko-led MDMK has been allotted the Erode constituency.

The IUML and the KMDK will field their nominees from Ramanathapuram and Namakkal, respectively, while the IJK has been allotted Perambalur, Stalin said.

(Photograph:AFP)

National Conference

The Farooq Abdullah-led National Conference (NC) and Congress are set to enter an alliance in Jammu and Kashmir ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls starting April 11.

The two parties, which are part of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls jointly in Jammu and Kashmir but could not win a single seat in the state. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Rashtriya Janata Dal

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is a major constituent of Bihar’s opposition alliance.

The Congress-RJD alliance has been an enduring one. The alliance with the RJD was a critical turning point in Congress fortunes in the 2004 elections. RJD chief Lalu Prasad, around that time, became a staunch defender of Sonia Gandhi who had been under attack from the BJP and its allies.

(Photograph:AFP)

Janata Dal (Secular)

The Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) have announced a seat-sharing arrangement for the Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka. 

The Congress will contest from 20 seats, while the Janata Dal (Secular) will contest from eight seats.

The two parties, which have formed the ruling coalition in Karnataka, have been part of the discussions to form a “grand alliance” against the Bharatiya Janata Party for the Lok Sabha elections across the country.

(Photograph:AFP)

Nationalist Congress Party

The NCP and the Congress have finalised their seat-sharing agreement for their alliance in Maharashtra for the Lok Sabha elections.

The two parties also allied in Maharastha in 2014 with the Congress contesting 26 seats, and winning 2, and the NCP contesting in 21 seats, and winning 4. The parties however parted ways for the state assembly polls held a few months after the general election.

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar meanwhile has said he will not contest the 2019 election.

(Photograph:AFP)

Not part of UPA but may back it

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), the Mehbooba Mufti-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are a few of the political parties which are seen as "non-aligned" but which may back the UPA to form a government at the Centre.

(Photograph:AFP)