They were appointed as zonal presidents only in late 2012 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 set-up.
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 in 2012 as it secured just 28 seats in the 403-member House.