Miffed over the performance of its eight zonal chiefs, including two central ministers, in the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh, the Congress appointed a new team Monday, said party sources.

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, said party sources.

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 appointing new coordinators for the same.

Congress sources said the eight zonal in-charges 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 told IANS.

Among those who have been removed as zonal chiefs include central ministers Jitin Prasada and R.P.N. Singh, besides MPs P.L. Punia, Rashid Masood, Raja Ram Pal and legislators Vivek Singh, Anugraha Narain Singh and Nadeem Javed.

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.