Meet Sofia Firdous: Muslim Woman Who Created History in Odisha

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Sofia Firdous, a Congress MLA representing the Barabati-Cuttack constituency in Odisha, has made history by becoming the first Muslim woman elected to the Odisha Assembly. She secured her victory over BJP’s Purna Chandra Mahapatra with a margin of 8,001 votes.

Who is Sofia Firdous?

  1. Political Background: Sofia Firdous, 32, hails from a political family as the daughter of senior Congress leader Mohammed Moquim. In the 2024 Odisha Assembly elections, the Congress party nominated her in place of her father, and she emerged victorious.
  2. Education: Ms. Firdous holds a Civil Engineering degree from Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology and completed an Executive General Management Program at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) in 2022.
  3. Professional Roles: In 2023, she was elected president of the Bhubaneswar chapter of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI). She also serves as the East Zone Coordinator for the CREDAI women’s wing.
  4. Other Positions: Ms. Firdous is the Co-Chair of the Bhubaneswar Chapter of the CII – Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and a core member of INWEC India. She is married to entrepreneur Sheikh Meraj Ul Haque.
  5. Inspiration: She follows in the footsteps of Nandini Satpathy, Odisha’s first woman chief minister, who represented the same constituency in 1972.

2024 Odisha Assembly Elections

In the 2024 Odisha Assembly elections, the BJP won a majority by securing 78 out of 147 seats, ending the 24-year rule of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

2024 Lok Sabha Elections in Odisha

In the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP achieved a significant victory by winning 20 of the 21 seats in Odisha, increasing their tally from 12 in 2019. The remaining seat went to Congress, while the BJD did not secure any seats.

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