Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to enact a cabinet reshuffle early next year, which could see changes in important portfolios, including defence and foreign affairs, a Reuters report said on Wednesday.
Speculations of a possible Cabinet revamp have been rife since the Bharatiya Janata Party's debacle in the Bihar Assembly elections last month.
The predicted revamp is likely to see shunting out of ministers based on performance and also for irresponsible and often communal remarks by BJP ministers, and among those who could be dropped are Giriraj Singh and Niranjan Jyoti, Reuters reported, citing sources.
But the major reshuffles could be in crucial departments, as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has reportedly asked for a more "domestic" portfolio, while Finance Minister Arun Jaitely was being considered for the defence portfolio, the report said. Jaitley had jointly held the defence portfolio till last November when it was handed over to Manohar Parrikar.
However, a predicament for Modi will be to fill the positions with efficient replacements, which has turned into a problem for the prime minister, his aide was quoted as saying.
Another Modi aide, however, called the talks of a reshuffle mere speculation.
The speculated revamp is also likely to see the induction of faces from north-eastern and southern states, especially since many of these states will head for Assembly elections in 2016 and 2017.
The prime minister wants to give his Cabinet a "pan-India feel", a Modi aide told Reuters.
A Times of India report earlier this month had said the BJP was considering bringing in two members from Assam into the Central Cabinet as the party looks to make inroads into the state in the Assembly polls next year.
Modi had expanded his council of ministers to 65 from the initial strength of 44 in a major reshuffle in November 2014, straying slightly from his "minimum government, maximum governance" pitch.