New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to undertake a reshuffle and as well as expansion of his Council of Ministers next week.
Sources said that the change might take place by or before April 8, adding that fresh inclusion could be from the allies Shiv Sena and PDP.
Sena MP from Amravati, Anandrao Adsul, or Rajya Sabha MP, Anil Desai, could be inducted into Modi Cabinet.
From PDP, Mehbooba Mufti may find a place in the reshuffle. Sources, however, said that Lok Sabha MPs Muzaffar Hussain Baig and Tariq Hameed Karra are party's choice and it has also nominated the two names to be inducted into the Union Cabinet.
Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla, the senior-most member of Modi's Council of Ministers, is likely to be dropped.
Sources also indicated that HRD Minister Smriti Irani could be sacked in this reshuffle.
Among the ministers likely to be promoted are MoS for Minority and Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, MoS for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge) Rajiv Pratap Rudy and MoS for Railways, Manoj Sinha. MoS for Finance Jayanth Sinha may be given additional charge of the Corporate Affairs.
A top BJP leader said the expansion was discussed and almost finalised three weeks ago but certain compulsions held back Modi from affecting the move.
Modi had expanded his Cabinet for the first time in November last year after assuming power in May 2014. At that time, Manohar Parrikar and Suresh Prabhu were given Defence and Railway portfolios, respectively.
The strength of the Union Cabinet had then gone up from 45 to 66, with 27 including PM holding Cabinet rank, 13 Ministers of State with independent charge and 26 Ministers of State.