The Cabinet decided yesterday that 40 districts would go to the polls in the first phase of elections slated for April 30 and 37 districts in the second phase on May 10.

Province 2, Gandaki, Lumbini, and Sudurpaschim will go to the polls on April 30 and elections will be held in Province 1, Bagmati, and Karnali on May 10.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today visited the Election Commission and took stock of the poll panel's preparations to hold mid-term elections. The government, which dissolved the House of Representatives on December 20, announced that it would hold snap polls in two phases.

Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya briefed the PM about poll preparations, including resources and security personnel that would be required to hold elections on the stipulated dates.

According to the PM's Press Adviser Surya Thapa, Oli told EC office bearers that the government would provide the required resources to hold midterm polls.

When asked if the PM discussed the Nepal Communist Party (NCP)'s authenticity issue, Thapa said the PM came to take stock of poll preparation, not to seek information about NCP's authenticity. Regarding the NCP authenticity issue, EC Spokesperson Raj Kumar Shrestha said the PM told EC office bearers that he expected the poll panel to take an impartial call.

The EC, which refused to legitimise changes made in the NCP by the two factions post December 20, recently said it viewed both Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal as co-chairpersons of the NCP. The Dahal faction has replaced Oli with Madhav Kumar Nepal as the party's cochair.

The faction also removed Oli from general membership of the party. Shrestha said the EC had sought more than seven billion rupees from the government for mid-term polls. The government has pledged that it would take care of logistics and security needs.

Oli was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokharel, Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel, and Subas Chandra Nembang.

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Parbat Gurung said at a press meet that Oli went to the EC today to dispel doubts about midterm polls. He said since the EC had ruled that Oli was one of the two co-chairpersons of NCP, Nepal's claim of being the new chairperson was invalid.

The constitutional bench of the Supreme Court has been hearing the House of Representatives dissolution case. If the court decides to reinstate the HoR, polls will not be held.

A version of this article appears in the print on February 10, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.