New Delhi: Miffed over the performance of its eight zonal in-charges, including two central ministers, in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh, the Congress appointed a new team on Monday.

According to party sources, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was dissatisfied with the performance of eight zonal in-charges, who were not able to devote enough time to the state.

Monday's move was aimed at putting in place a team of leaders who could devote maximum time on preparing the ground for the 2014 general elections.

According to a statement from Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi approved the proposal of appointing new zonal in-charges in Uttar Pradesh while also appointing new coordinators.

Congress sources said the older eight zonal in-charges - central ministers Jitin Prasada and RPN Singh, MPs PL Punia, Rashid Masood, Raja Ram Pal and legislators Vivek Singh, Anugraha Narain Singh and Nadeem Javed, were appointed at the instance of Rahul Gandhi seven months ago.

"Most of the zonal coordinators will have to contest the Lok Sabha elections. There was a need to put a dedicated team to strengthen the party in the state ahead of the 2014 general elections," a Congress leader said.

The new zonal in charges are legislators Pankaj Malik, Sanjay Kapoor and Dr Muslim, former  minister Vinod Chowdhry, former legislator Digvijaya Singh, Deepak Kumar, Lalitesh Pati Tripathi, and Bhagwati Chaudhary.

The new zonal coordinators are Virendra Singh Guddu, Dilnawaz, Bansidhar Raj, former minister Aslam Rainee, Chandra Shekhar Singh, Virendra Chowdhery, Phoolwati Saini and Yogesh Dixit.

Along with the zonal in-charges and coordinators, the Congress also appointed heads in 31 district and city units as part of its plan to rejig the party in Uttar Pradesh, which sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha.


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