Sanjoy Ray

GUWAHATI, April 6: Indian Premier League (IPL) fame Assam cricketer Riyan Parag, who was appointed as one of the icons of Assam Assembly elections, 2021, gave his maiden voting opportunity a miss!

Riyan is one of the four Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) icons appointed by the Election Commission for the State polls.

Although Riyan’s parents – cricketer Parag Das and swimmer Mithu Baruah – cast their vote, the Rajasthan Royals player could not exercise his franchise.

The cricketer is currently in the Rajasthan Royals camp following bio-bubble guidelines due to the COVID-19 scene. The cash-rich IPL is beginning from April 9.

Riyan has turned into an eligible voter recently and was chosen as one of the ambassadors to promote SVEEP activities among voters, in a bid to achieve a voting percentage of over 85 in Assam. He also appeared in a television advertisement issued by the Election Commission seeking voters’ participation in the polls.

“He could not cast his vote due to his IPL engagements and the bio-bubble restrictions of the Board of Control for Cricket in India,” an official of the State election department told The Assam Tribune.

“Riyan could not vote as he is currently in Mumbai,” said Mithu Baruah, mother of Riyan, when contacted by this correspondent.

Actor Kopil Bora, singer Anindita Paul and para-cyclist Rakesh Banik, the other three personalities to have been appointed as SVEEP icons, however, cast their votes in their respective constituencies, sources in the election department said.