New Delhi, May 21: Amid mounting complaints to Rahul Gandhi, Congress yesterday removed all the eight zonal presidents in Uttar Pradesh including two Union Ministers R P N Singh and Jitin Prasada and CWC member Rasheed Masood and brought in local leaders in their place.
Zonal presidents who faced the axe included senior leaders like P L Punia and Rajaram Pal, MP and state leaders Vivek Singh, Anugrah Narayan Singh and Bijendra Singh.
They were appointed as zonal presidents only late last year and there were complaints of 'non-performance' against them in reaching out to the people.
The move to have zonal presidents and vice presidents was the brainchild of Gandhi as part of his plans to tone up the organisation.
The new Zonal Incharges are: Pankaj Malik, MLA, Deepak Kumar, former Minister, Vinod Chowdhery, ex-MLA, Digvijaya Singh, Lalitesh Pati Tripathi, MLA, Bhagwati Chaudhary, Sanjay Kapoor, MLA and Dr Muslim, MLA. Of these, Malik and Tripathi had earlier been Zonal Vice-Presidents.
The new Zonal Coordinators are: Virendra Singh Guddu, Dilnawaz, MLA, Bansidhar Raj, former Minister, Aslam Rainee, Chandra Shekhar Singh, Virendra Chowdhery, Phoolwati Saini and Yogesh Dixit. Of these, Rainee was a Zonal Vice-President in the outgoing setup.
Reports had it that Gandhi had taken a dim view of the functioning of the zonal presidents as several of them failed to visit even the district headquarters under their charge while some others did so fleetingly.
Along with the zonal incharges and coordinators, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi also appointed 31 District Congress chiefs.
Uttar Pradesh is politically most crucial state for the Congress having sent 22 Lok Sabha members out of 80 in the last Parliament elections. The party, however, suffered a debacle in the Assembly elections last year as it secured just 28 seats in the 403-member House.