The much-anticipated reshuffle in the Congress organisation and the union cabinet is likely to take place in the second half of January.
The changes to be effected by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in their teams are likely to be done between January 16 and 18, party sources said. The entire reshuffle plan has been a matter of intense speculation in recent months.
Senior Congress leaders have maintained, on the condition of anonymity, that the period after January 14, is considered auspicious and changes can be expected then.
Following the party’s plenary session last month, the principle of one-man, one-post will be strictly implemented. Leaders holding twin positions of ministers and party office bearers will have to give up one post.
Those likely to be affected include health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, social justice minister Mukul Wasnik, minister of state for parliamentary affairs V Narayanswami and Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.
All of them are party general secretaries also. Party sources said some of the senior leaders will continue to be incharge of states, along with their responsibility of ministers, in their capacity as Congress Working Committee members.
Three slots have fallen vacant in the union council of ministers since the UPA-II assumed office in May 2009. Shashi Tharoor quit in April last year as minister of state for external affairs following the IPL controversy.
Minister of state Prithviraj Chavan resigned in November following his appointment as chief minister of Maharashtra and the controversial former telecom minister A Raja quit in mid-November after a CAG report pointed out large scale irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation.