Upendra got involved in politics in 1985. From 1985 to 1988, he was Yuva Lok Dal’s General Secretary and its National General Secretary from 1988 to 1993. He assumed more importance in the state politics when he went on to become General Secretary of Samata Party in 1994. Upendra remained in that position till 2002.
It was in 2000 when Upendra got elected to the Bihar Assembly. He became Samata Party’s Deputy Leader at the assembly and remained in that post till 2004. However, he became the Leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly in March 2004 and successfully managed his responsibilities till February 2005.