Meet Sofia Firdous, first Muslim woman to win assembly election in Odisha | Latest News India

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By Mahtab Ahmad

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The Congress may have been a distant third in the recently-held Odisha assembly election, but the grand old party created history as it is now the first party in the state to have a Muslim woman as a legislative assembly member (MLA).

Sofia Firdous (x/@sofiafirdous1)
Sofia Firdous (x/@sofiafirdous1)

In what marked her electoral debut, Sofia Firdous of the Congress was elected MLA from the Barabati-Cuttack seat, defeating BJP’s Purna Chandra Mahapatra by a margin of 8001 votes. While Firdous won 53339 votes, Mahapatra secured 45,338 votes, according to the Election Commission of India (ECI).

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Who is Sofia Firdous?

(1.) She comes from a political family; her father, Mohammed Moaquim, is a senior leader of the Congress party in the coastal state. The party fielded her after the father, who was the MLA from the same seat, got convicted in a loan fraud case, leading to his disqualification.

(2.) The 32-year-old holds a Civil Engineering degree from the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology under the KIIT University in Bhubaneswar, the state Capital. She also completed an Executive General Management Program from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB), in 2022.

(3.) Last year, Sofia Firdous was elected as the president of the Bhubaneswar wing of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI). She is also the current Eastern Zone Coordinator of the CREDAI women’s wing.

(4.) As per her poll affidavit with the Election Commission of India (ECI), she does not face any criminal charges.

(5.) Sofia, whose total assets stand at around five crore and who has liabilities of nearly 28 lakh, is married to Sheikh Mairajul Haque, an entrepreneur.

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