Goalpara/Guwahati: The first phase of Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council polls began Wednesday amidst tight security with more than 50 per cent polling reported till noon in Assam`s Goalpara and Kamrup districts, district officials said.
There was no report of any untoward incidents from any part of the two districts though the run-up to the three- phase poll was marked by violence following widespread protests by non-Rabha organisations demanding their exclusion from the Council areas.
The indefinite `public curfew`` called jointly by the Non-Rabha Coordination Forum and Non-Tribal Students` Union was called off today following Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi`s appeal to non-Rabha organisations to cooperate during the polls as their demands were being looked into.
Gogoi welcomed the decision of the non-Rabha organisations as it would pave the way for creating a congenial atmosphere to sort out various issues amicably across the negotiation table.
An electorate of 1.22 lakh would exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 65 candidates in 13 constituencies -- seven in Goalpara and six in Kamrup districts.
This is the first election to the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council (RHAC) since it was set up in 1995 and there are 36 constituencies, all of which have been declared `hyper-sensitive`.
The second and the third phase polls would be held on November 16 and 25 respectively.